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Dawn's Story

“I feel vibrant and beautiful now.”

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Dawn’s Connection to Family

Family is a big factor in Dawn’s life. In fact, her mom is a major inspiration. She was a single mother who raised Dawn and her three siblings all on her own. “When we were young, it looked so easy,” Dawn said. “As I grew older, I found out that she was really struggling. She’s my inspiration for knowing that I have all the power and strength within me to do what I have to do.”

Thanks to her mom’s positive influence, Dawn’s been able to achieve great things in her life: she did well in school, and she has an associate’s in Business Development. Dawn also has three children of her own, 16 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Later in life, she got divorced from her husband, and it was a shock for her emotionally. “I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with this guy,” Dawn said. “The divorce really took me for a whirlwind.” After the divorce, she met someone who offered her heroin. “It took me out of being depressed and having high anxiety with the divorce,” she said. “From there, I was off to the races.”

Finding a New Path

At first, Dawn enjoyed the experiences. “I loved partying and hanging out with people,” she said. That didn’t last forever, though, and life quickly got more difficult and more dangerous thanks to risk of using with stronger substances in the opioid epidemic. She was able to stop using for a few months at a time but would eventually start up again. “It was horrible,” Dawn said.

Drugs consumed her life until recently when her mom sadly passed away. Dawn admits that it has been tough. “I struggle from time to time with her not being here,” she said. The death of a close family member can often be a major trigger for someone with a substance use disorder. While Dawn’s addiction was at its worst, she said her mom always “worried about getting that phone call.” Thankfully, Dawn was able to bring positivity to her mom’s death: she sought out treatment in honor of her mom, and she’s been on the road to recovery ever since.

She’s Vibrant and Beautiful

Dawn finished up a successful program at Horizon Village before making her way to Somerset House. She’s been with Caz for almost four months. Somerset House is teaching her how to live independently, and she really enjoys what she’s learning. “Recovery is a wonderful thing,” she said. “At one time in my life, I didn’t feel beautiful. I feel vibrant and beautiful now”

After Somerset House, she’s planning on moving into an independent apartment of her own in Lockport. First, though, she has work to do: she wants to perform a play for the program that she wrote ten years ago. It’s titled “Insidious,” and it deals directly with her substance use. Dawn hopes to bring in the other women in the house to play different parts. She hopes that everyone at Somerset House will “feel it in their hearts” when they see it performed.

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