Where Are They Now – “Lisa”
I started off at Megans House in 2017 after 3 1/2 years in prison. Megan’s was the type of place that helps build you back up when you’re stripped of everything. It was the exact type of structure I needed. I was ready.
I’m not even just saying this because I am such a fan of the house and the program, but it was the nicest house I’ve ever lived in by far. The staff there actually cares about you and you form a type of loving relationship with each of the women. The generosity that runs through that house is so unbelievably heartfelt.
I remember it was my first Christmas out in four years and it was the most beautiful, warm, and loving experience I’ve ever had. Each one of the staff members picked out presents personalized for each of the residents. And that’s when I really understood and felt that I was a part of a family. Not only did they bless us with materialistic things, but they would take their time and plan out an agenda for the girls every week to be a part of and experience, whether that was kickboxing or just going on walks for exercise or having family days every Sunday where they would take us to do some type of extracurricular activity; mini golfing, bowling, going to arcades and even cruises. You name it.
I’m not going to say it was always laughter and fun and giggles, because there were hard times, too. Megan’s House was where I got molded from the ground up. You had to meet your goals each week in order to gain privileges. Attend counseling. Make all your groups. And make sure you make your bed every morning and do your chores every day, because MaryBeth and Carol weren’t playing. I simply followed the rules and did what I had to do because like I said, I was ready. I was ready to take what they had to offer and I was ready to listen. My way never worked, so I thought maybe their way did. And in the end it wasn’t them that needed me, it was me that needed them.
After a full 14 months of living at a 6 to 9 month program (in which I choose to stay) I was finally ready to graduate. Initially I was going to go to Smoc housing in Framingham but there was a waiting list. Marybeth and Kylee were so kind enough to let me wait at the graduate Success Home called Erin’s House. By the time Smoc housing finally came through and there was an open room I had already been established in Dracut at Erin’s house, with a full-time management job and a new car of my own. In the end, I decided to turn down the other housing because why would I choose to live anywhere else but in such a beautiful house that gave me so much and surrounded by so much love and such beautiful women – my family.
At Erin’s house Kylee gave us a short term goals and long-term goals that we would go through every couple of months to see if we were meeting them. And sure enough I hit every one of them simply by placing one foot in front of the other, not giving up, listening to suggestions, hitting the 3 or more meetings a week, continuing to go to work and being surrounded by my network. Yes there were hard days, but there were so many more good days that outweighed the bad. This program not only saved my life, but showed me a whole new meaning to life. It changed the way my thought process worked and showed me a whole new way of life. And I could never thank them enough.
Today I live in my little cozy apartment. Not the best, but I’m still grateful and I’m still taking the steps that I need to reach my long-term goals (which is living in a mansion of course). I’ve stayed connected with a lot of the women from Megan’s and Erin’s House, that I call my family. Those are the people that I can rely on when I’m feeling down or just needing someone to talk to. I work a full-time job where in the past three years of working I have been promoted five times. My family can sleep at night and they’re not up worrying about me with knots in their stomachs, wondering if I’m alive or not. And we have such a beautiful relationship today. I’m dependable, reliable, trustworthy, hardworking, and honest and can finally give back to the people who so generiously gave to me throughout all these years.
Today I can say that I truly love my life, I love others, and actually love myself. And that, that is all I ever wanted.
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