In our ongoing series, “Stories of Recovery,” we bring you compelling accounts of courage, transformation, and testaments to the strength of the human spirit of those suffering from substance use disorder. Today, we feature Suzanne, whose journey from hopelessness to a newfound purpose is nothing short of inspiring.
From Despair to Hope
Suzanne’s journey to recovery has been marked by both challenges and triumphs. When reflecting on life before her journey to recovery began, Suzanne described it as “hopeless.” Having spent a decade experiencing homelessness, she vividly recalls this sense of hopelessness that plagued her life before arriving at Caz Recovery. “It used to be a dark place,” she reflects, “but now I see the beauty and color.”
Suzanne has been at Casa Di Vita for four months now, and before that, she spent four months with CASA-Trinity at Willow House. The turning point for Suzanne was her desire to show her mother that she could make a better life for herself. Tired of the life she had been leading, Suzanne sought change and embraced the opportunity to receive help. “I got sick of living that life,” she says, her determination evident. “I wanted to do better, especially for my mother, and I was tired of that existence. Now my mother is really proud of me.” Since being in recovery, her perspective has undergone a remarkable transformation. “Now, I love life,” Suzanne exclaims. “I want to live my life and not just exist. I actually want things in life.”
Recovery & Sharing HerStory
At Caz, Suzanne found a supportive community that encouraged her to rediscover her identity and self-worth. Her newfound aspirations include helping animals, giving back to the community, going back to school, and finding a job. “I am living an honest program, I am spiritual, and I believe in myself,” she says. “Before, I was just lying to myself and about my situation.” The opportunity to express herself openly has been crucial to her growth. Suzanne describes Caz as an environment that encourages open communication. “If we have issues, we can talk to anyone,” Suzanne explains. The sense of safety and belonging she found at Caz has been integral to her progress.
When asked why she wanted to share her story, Suzanne revealed that it brings her a great sense of fulfillment. She empathizes with the struggles that many people face, and she is determined to let them know that sobriety and recovery are not only possible but achievable. Suzanne’s willingness to share her story is a testament to her strength and compassion. “It feels good to share my story. I know many people are struggling, and it’s possible to stay sober,” she expresses warmly. Suzanne’s deep awareness of LGBTQ+ issues has been a constant throughout her journey. Her counsel, though simple, carries profound wisdom: “Embrace your authentic self and find comfort in who you are.”
A New Sue
As Suzanne progresses along her path to recovery, she encounters the challenge of reentering the job market. She proudly mentions her recently crafted resumes on platforms like LinkedIn and Indeed. Upon successfully completing her program, Suzanne wants to further her education and embark on a meaningful career path that just might involve helping animals. We asked Suzanne what is the best part of her day. “The will to live,” Suzanne says with conviction, is the best part of her day. She now possesses a renewed sense of purpose.