HOPE AND HEALING
One of the greatest descriptions of alcoholic behavior is “self-will run riot.” Those words perfectly describe the obsession with alcohol and/or drugs and the actions of the addict. At Liberty Place women suffering from alcoholism and/or drug addiction receive the tools they need to understand their disease, achieve sobriety, work on underlying problems, and learn to lead stable, productive lives.
Located in Richmond, the program is part of the Recovery Kentucky Initiative and serves women in Kentucky’s Sixth Congressional District. One of those tools is working the 12 steps.
For years Virginia tried hard to control and manipulate people, places, and things, because she didn’t know how to change herself. She was hopelessly addicted but admits that even when she came to Liberty Place she wasn’t ready to get sober. “I didn’t want to be there from the day I walked in,” said Virginia. “I couldn’t admit that I was an alcoholic, even though I had lost my home, my car, even my kids.”
Virginia heard about the program after she was arrested for shoplifting. Her charge was expanded to possession when drugs were found on her. Unable to pass a drug test while she was on Monitored Conditional Release she was given a choice – Drug Court or treatment/recovery program. She chose the latter, secretly thinking she wouldn’t have to complete Drug Court.
“Looking back that was the best decision I ever made,” said Virginia. “I really began to tackle some issues and work on myself. I decided that I didn’t want to live that life anymore.”
She learned how to be honest, open minded, and willing. While in the program, she worked as a Peer Mentor. Peer Mentors help other clients in the program, while actively participating in the program themselves. Virginia stayed at Liberty Place for 13 months. During that time she made some important decisions and began working on re-gaining custody of her daughter, Cierra.
She transitioned from the program in July 2016 and was fortunate to move into Holly Street Apartments, a Foothills program for people who have completed and are in good standing with a residential substance abuse recovery or treatment program and who agree to participate in aftercare services. She was still accountable for going to Drug Court – something she successfully graduated from. But most importantly, she gained custody of Cierra.
“Now that I have her back, she’s not losing me again,” she said enthusiastically. “We love spending time together.”
Virginia has a car and a full-time job. She’s working on restoring her relationship with her son, who lives with his father. They see each other every other weekend. She’s also remedied her relationships with her immediate family members.
“I still have my ups and downs,” said Virginia. “When things get crazy I journal to get all the garbage out of my head. I tell myself what I tell other girls in the program – ‘if you just sit still it will be ok’. I pray every day, attend three meetings a week, sponsor other women, and talk to friends who have been through the program.” Hearing other people tell her that she helped them is an amazing feeling. “Liberty Place did so much for me,” said Virginia. “We do recover. I’m living proof.”
Virginia’s sobriety date is April 8, 2015.