Just last month, I was privileged to see Annie again.
Annie could easily have been a statistic. Half-black, half-white she didn’t fit in anywhere. She failed consistently in school, — no surprise as she couldn’t read –of course she learned to hate it, and thought she was “stupid.” Her chaotic family life led her to run away and start using drugs at age 12. She couldn’t really give voice to her feelings, she only knew she felt a lot of hurt inside. The alcohol and drugs made it go away for awhile.
If you could see her today, you would be as proud as I am of her. After starting rehab 3 times and leaving the program, this time she is serious and committed. Not only is she clean and sober, she’s addressing those demons inside herself, the one’s that tell her, she’s not good enough, not smart enough. With mental health counseling as well as recovery support, she’s developing a stronger, healthier inner dialogue. Her baby,Geneva, is with her in treatment and she knows that his life will be different. She’s gone back to school, and found that this time she’s motivated to do well. Her smile lit up the room as she proudly showed me her Student of the Month award. Annie had made straight “A’s” and is working toward a high school degree. Her future and that of her kids is bright.