I just want to take a minute to express my appreciation for BsideU For Life and all of the wonderful people that have helped me to get where I am right now. When I showed up on the doorstep here in early December I was at a loss on what next steps I should take in my life. I had just graduated from a 7 month residential facility for addicted pregnant women, moved into a room in transitional housing, and was desperate to stay sober, take care of my 4 month old daughter, and find my higher power. In all of the A.A. meetings that I went to, they suggested we pray to a higher power. I had no idea what my higher power was. I had been raised Catholic, but never studied a bible before or prayed out loud. I knew that I was desperate for something, but I didn’t know what it was or how to get myself back on track. I was truly spiritually broken at that point.
After 14 years of fighting alcoholism and trying to act like I had it together and could do it on my own, God did for me what I couldn’t do for myself. My secret was out, and I lost my 14 year career as a teacher and my 3 bedroom house. I wrecked my car so many times my family took it from me because I was a threat like everyone on the road drinking and driving. My savings was gone, and I got so desperate for alcohol after I ran out of money that I drank hand sanitizer, mouthwash, and rubbing alcohol. I had been to 6 rehabs, the E.R. and the healing place twice. I finally got kicked out of detox and was homeless for a while. I learned I was pregnant and tried to stop drinking, but it only lasted 63 days. Afraid for the life of my unborn baby, I checked into the New Vision program at Norton’s. They admitted me to a lockdown recovery center for pregnant women where I stayed until I delivered my daughter.
Upon graduation they gave me a list of community resources and BsideU For Life was the first name on the list. I had no idea when I opened up the door what opportunities would open in my life. It’s like God placed me exactly where I needed to be when all I hoped for was some diapers. I had no information about the program and the services it offered. The women at the door were extremely helpful and sent me to the 3rd floor where Debbie at the front desk informed me that if I went to two classes I could get diapers. She gave me a list of all the services that were offered.
The first class was parenting with love and logic. And Dr. Kaufman was an amazing teacher. I went into the second class, which was bible study taught by Mrs. Sandy, and I had never actually opened or read bible verses before. It amazed me that the she was so knowledgeable, and the topic sparked an interest in me. I went home that day with a lot more than the diapers I came to get. It took a few weeks for me to come back, but when I did everyone seemed to remember me and knew me by name. After going to classes for a while I mentioned to Dr. Kaufman that the transitional facility had helped me get into two graduate classes, and I was getting behind on my work because I had no childcare. He gave me permission to go into the computer lab and do classwork while my daughter was downstairs in daycare.
I have been coming to the computer lab consistently for a few months now and with the help of Danita and her knowledge of computers and technology, (I am not good with computers) I turned a failing grade in one of my classes up to a B, and in the other class earned an A this past quarter. Danita taught me how to organize my assignments in different formats, convert files, edit my work and even create a folder on the desktop for me. She is always encouraging and has helped me work through many problems that I have had. I have been near tears a few times when I thought a file disappeared and somehow she was able to recover it. After I spent over 45 minutes trying to create a header and page number on a paper she was able to show me how to do it in a few minutes. She is truly a Godsend and even reminds me when its 3 minutes before the hour if I lose track of time -so I can get to daycare on time.
There is no way that I could have completed classes without the people here at BsideU For Life. This summer I am taking 12 hours of graduate courses, and I will be able to go back into the classroom and be certified to teach again in August. I cannot express my gratitude to everyone here. I feel safe leaving my daughter in childcare and know that she is in good hands.
It’s all of the little things that make this place so special. My daughter loves going to childcare, and Angie even makes sure they have an applesauce and yogurt out at lunch for her. Half of the time when I come from the computer lab to get her after lunch she is asleep and being rocked by one of the women there. She recently started trying to stand, and I mentioned it to Mrs. Suzy who walked into the donation closet and came out with a walker/scooter for her. My daughter is never without shoes, clothes, diapers or basic essentials. There is no way I can ever repay the people at beside you for life for all they have done. It is a true ministry, and my faith in God has grown so much stronger. I can now actually quote things from scripture, and don’t mind praying aloud in front of a group. Thank you to everyone at BsideU For Life. You have been a lifesaver for my daughter and me.