I had tried a few times to get clean my way, but it didn’t work. I was pregnant with my daughter, and my two-year-old son was in the custody of my mom. Then I found the Independence House in Corbin.

It was more than treatment. I learned how to be a mom. I learned life skills. And most importantly, I dealt with the root causes. I dealt with childhood trauma from more than 20 years ago that I had never talked about. The people at the Independence House gave me a safe space to be able to process that and gave me hope that I could be more than what I’d become at age 28.

I couldn’t have dreamed this big. It’s all thanks to the Independence House and the UNITE treatment voucher.

I regained custody of my son and went back to college. Hazard Community and Technical College was amazing. It provided programs and support services. I then went to Lindsay Wilson College for my bachelor’s and master’s degree. I am now pursuing doctoral studies at Lindsay Wilson.

My first job was at Hope in the Mountains. I didn’t know how to do anything clean, but Renee and Jimmy McCoy taught me. I then had an amazing mentor in Judge Bill Engle when I worked at the Perry County Drug Court.

From there, I worked for Kentucky River Community Care and helped start the Hickory Hill Recovery program, which is part of Recovery Kentucky. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I later became the director of the program. Soon, I will begin a new chapter in my life, but one that will bring me full circle. I will start an outpatient services at Hope in the Mountains for women who have experienced trauma and abuse.

There have been a lot of full circle moments in my life. The most important thing to me is my ability to have powerful, loving relationships. My children are happy and successful. I have amazing friendships and support groups.