Before I came to CASA, my life had seemed like one big trip smoking PCP. I ended up catching a case with DHS and having my kids taken from me. That was on the 7th of May, by the 14th, I was enrolled into CASA’s program. Honesty, I had been so intoxicated, I can’t remember my first couple of times; but what I do remember is this overwhelming feeling of welcoming. When I entered the building, I didn’t feel shame or like I had to be on a drug to handle the experience. No one was prejudice against me for my using. When I first started, I met a woman working at CASA whom I took to immediately, maybe it was because we had the same name, but, she was in charge of urine tests and would update me weekly on my progress. She would sound so proud of me that I’d become proud of me, feeling somewhat accomplished each time. I also had a great counselor who made me feel comfortable, who even when I relapsed after three weeks of being clean told me, “Is that yesterday? Leave it there.” I had felt so disgusted in myself after using I cried to my counselor, and it’s crazy because I had never actually felt guilty about using before coming to CASA. It took two months to get the drugs completely out of my system, but when it was gone, it never came back. Soon, I was spending every day at CASA, I even brought my kids, who were welcomed just as much as I was, participating in Parent Cafes, get togethers, and parties. It was just something about CASA, it didn’t have that hospital feel you think of when thinking about getting help; instead it is a family. I’ve been a year and a half clean now, and although I still have to fight the thought, every time I go outside I feel proud of myself because I am no longer dependent on any substance to get by and can focus on being the best mom I can be.

N. Lizotte

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