My story is like many others. Sometimes there were emotions that would leave me struggling to breathe and sometimes I was so empty that it was the only time I felt any sense of peace. Drugs and alcohol made my world feel beautiful and tragic at the same time. It was very contradicting since my life was falling apart while I was convinced it was coming together. I never expected my addiction was going to take me to a low that I had only seen in movies. My body hurt, my heart was broken, my mind was infected with demons and I still didn’t want to stop. I was going to die.
"Mrs. Wilson’s House is where I truly found myself."
This is where my story changed. I was given an opportunity that at the time seemed worse than the hell I was already living in. A chance to get clean and sober and change my life. I was reluctant because this wasn’t the first time I tried recovery. Was I really ready? Did I suffer enough? Or did I still feel the need to punish myself for things that were never my fault in the first place? Drug court, here I come. My life changed the day I let go and accepted help.
I started with a 6 month program where I started addressing my problems. While I was there I realized I barely scratched the surface and 6 months just wasn’t enough. I couldn’t believe I was asking to go to another program. But if I wanted anything for my life, then regardless how I felt about it, this was a necessary step.
"I am proof that recovery is possible"
Mrs. Wilson’s House is where I truly found myself. The kind of support I got the moment I walked in the door was like nothing I have ever known. I finally let down my guard and address issues that I’ve been avoiding for years. It was real. It was personal. It was rough. But on the other hand, it was awesome. I laughed more than I had in so long. Life was possible. After 8 months, I was ready to move on with my life. (Even though I tried to convince staff to build a tree house in their back yard so I wouldn’t have to leave.)
Today I am 3 years clean from all drugs and alcohol. I continue to use the tools I learned from Mrs. Wilson’s house, along with others I still learn in my process everyday. My boyfriend and I are officially home owners and are parents to a 5 month old beautiful little girl. I am graduating drug court in less than a year. I am proof that recovery is possible. Now 2 years after I left, I am STILL so grateful for what Mrs. Wilson’s house did for me. They are truly incredible people with the passion of helping others and constantly proving there is a much better way to live.
My treatment journey prior to landing at Mrs. Wilson’s House was extensive. I had been in and out of rehabs, detoxes, sober living facilities, and jails. If you told me twenty years ago that I would spend most of my adult life inside of a facility I would not have believed you. I always felt different than everyone around me. I felt less than, inadequate, as if everyone else got the manual of life and left me off the mailing list. Looking back, I see that because I felt so different, I acted different. I always pushed people away even though I wanted them close. I didn’t want to feel alone but caused my own loneliness. There still was something inside me that wanted to be successful, wanted to be happy, but that dark piece of me took over.
When I took my first sip of booze at age 15 I thought I found my new best friend, my new lover, my new everything. I remember the way it just took over my body. I was able to say things I normally wouldn’t say and do things I normally wouldn’t do. I was confident and felt like everyone liked me. Soon enough, I needed to drink to do anything social. I became physically dependent on alcohol by the time I was in high school. I went on to college after passing high school by the skin of my teeth, and was introduced to stronger substances at which time I left alcohol behind for an even darker and more destructive life. I started to do things I said I would never do and began committing crimes to support my habit. I was a full blown crack and heroin addict by age 28. Drugs became my only interest. I got kicked out of school which gave me more time to do what I wanted to do.
I went through periods of time where I would taper down my drug use and get a job and start doing better only for the end result to be the same, which was me high on drugs. I had been forced to go to treatment and detoxes a handful of times and I saw these as chances to clean up for a little bit and get people back in my good graces, only to go back out and do the same thing. I never heard anything anyone was trying to teach me. I was not open to suggestions. I was in pain but was not willing to give up the fight. I always thought I was different than everyone else, that I would find a way to be able to use drugs and not experience any negative consequences. v
My life continued to spiral out of control. I kept losing more, I lost more friends, more jobs, more family, more weight, more material things. At the end I was homeless staying in a shack near the railroad tracks in Paterson. I just kept making my next low acceptable. In 2010 I was arrested for the last time. After having to detox in jail and sitting there for six months I had a lot of time to think about my life. No one was coming to get me. The people I thought would help me wouldn’t. The people I thought were my friends didn’t pick up the phone. I was alone. It was time to do something different.
I was offered Drug Court. Along the way, Drug Court placed me in Mrs. Wilson’s House. I remember going on my interview there. I felt this warm inviting feeling, I felt at home. I had not felt like that in a very long time. Mrs. Wilson’s House gave me everything I needed. It was a difficult adjustment at first, but I was so beaten down that I just surrendered. They provided me with a structure to my day. I no longer had a full day of down time, I was expected to do things like chores and attend groups. It was these small things that helped me learn how to be accountable again. I had one on one counseling sessions with a counselor that was tough on me and saw right through my deceit. She told me that if I continued to lie about how I felt I would never get better.
It was here that I learned how to be honest about my feelings. I went to bed at a normal hour and started to really feel better physically. I was able to incorporate exercise into my daily routine and I was getting healthy again. I learned how to cook here. I got a job after being in the house for a month and learned how to budget my money. I saved every penny I made at my job that I didn’t need for supplies for myself. I remember it felt so good becoming self-sufficient. I had always depended on others to take care of me. Mrs. Wilson’s House stressed the importance of becoming an independent woman. We went to AA meetings a few times a week and were able to go out with women that we met at the meetings.
I got a great sponsor while I was in the house and we met once a week and read the book together. She took me through the twelve steps and told me it was my turn to do the same for someone else. I am nothing like I used to be. I have had a complete change in my perception on life. No matter how I am feeling, I treat every day as a gift. I don’t ever want to go back to living the way I was nor will I ever forget where I came from. I am only one drink or drug away from that person. Mrs. Wilson’s helped me become the person I am today. I thank all the staff and the girls I was in the house with for being a part of my process.
I grew up in a very close and loving family. I have always had a lot of friends. Despite all of the loving, caring people in my life, there was still something missing. I struggled to feel a part of. I always felt different, very self-conscious and un comfortable in my own skin. Once I discovered alcohol, it appeared all my problems were solved.
I fit in, I was the center of attention. I was always known as the party girl, the girl that got wasted, the girl that could never be the designated driver. All the time I thought I was the center of attention and people were laughing with me when they were laughing at me. Looking back now, I see the progression of my alcoholism.
It started with drinking at house parties, clubs and bars, day drinking turned into four day benders. Benders turned into calling out of work until I discovered drinking when I woke up and drinking at work to keep myself going. Two DUI’s later, back out in Newark and putting my family through hell, I finally admitted I had a problem. I went to the hospital detox twice, rehab twice and finally after the second rehab I stopped and listened. I threw my hands up. I think, at the time, I was running away from my life.
Mrs. Wilson’s - along with the support of my family - saved my life.
Not only did I have a drinking problem, but it caused me to be involved in very bad, unhealthy, abusive relationships. I surrounded myself with negative people. Until I went to Mrs. Wilson’s House, I thought that’s what I deserved.
Mrs. Wilson’s - along with the support of my family - saved my life. They helped me learn about myself. Never in my life did I feel the confidence that I felt from Mrs. W’s. The counselors and staff became my friends, the women in the house became my family. I have lost a lot of women along the way to addiction, and Mrs. Wilson’s has helped me cope with that. I learned what a healthy relationship is.
There are no words to express the gratitude I have for Mrs. Wilsons and the staff.
Now, I am engaged to someone that would go above and beyond for me. I learned to keep only the people around me that support me and love me for me. Never in my life did I think I was capable of being the person I have become. I am a Godmother to my nephew; my family trusts and respects me.
There are no words to express the gratitude I have for Mrs. Wilsons and the staff. I am now three years sober and the happiest I have ever been in my life. I continue to go to therapy at Mrs. Wilson’s and I am still welcomed with open arms.
I came to Mrs. Wilson's Halfway House at 21 years old unsure if I could stay clean.
I had been to numerous facilities at that point - detoxes, short-term programs, long-term programs, and even another halfway house. I had reached a point of believing I was incapable of learning to live a new way of life.
During my stay, the staff members not only helped me realize that I was capable of staying clean, but also that I was worth it. I was able to get a job and learn how to budget my money. I was taught responsibility and was held accountable for my actions, which was huge for someone like myself who was opposed to most forms of structure and rules.
I am forever grateful for Mrs. Wilson's House...
I received endless amounts of help, guidance, and love from those who work there along with the women I lived with. I am forever grateful for Mrs. Wilson's House - it allowed me to build the foundation I needed to live my life as a successful and productive woman in recovery.
The team at Mrs. Wilson’s loves to keep in touch with alumni. Please complete the form so we can keep you up to date on what's happening.
Getting started is easier than you think... just reach out!