Back to School: Anna's Story of Liberation

"Our whole life was taking drugs and figuring out ways to pay for those drugs."

As a seasonal hire, Anna walked through the doors of Her 2nd Chance three months ago to help with our shop's busy holiday season. At only 27, she has spent almost 10 years in and out of active addiction. "At my worst, I was holed up in a hotel room with a fellow drug addict doing crystal meth and heroin all day. Our whole life was taking drugs and figuring out ways to pay for those drugs," says Anna. At times, she experienced hallucinations and psychosis but felt trapped in the lifestyle.  "I didn't know how to get out of the situation, but I knew I was afraid I was going to die."

Finally, she was "sick and tired of being sick and tired," and in sheer desperation, called her mom to ask for help. The heartbreaking call led Anna to her first in-patient treatment center. She stayed sober for nine months but eventually had to leave the halfway house she had been living in. Old patterns emerged; she stopped working on her program and relapsed. A period of years in and out of recovery followed. "To be honest, I was still young, and I don't think I wanted to be sober," explains Anna. 

At some point, Anna realized she wasn't that young anymore; life was passing her by. In 2022, she entered treatment again and has been sober for 18 months. "This time, I am taking recovery more seriously. I have been working my program with greater intention - finishing my steps, attending meetings regularly, and meeting with a sponsor," says Anna. Being present with a clear mind and her newfound ability to help others are now the highlights of Anna's recovery journey. "It's not just about me."

After hearing about Her 2nd Chance at her current halfway house, Anna applied for a position and joined the team. She has learned the production and fulfillment process from start to finish and made new friends. "Working at Her 2nd Chance has been the perfect transition for me because it combines a recovery atmosphere with an actual real job."  Anna also mentions that having a supportive work environment and being around co-workers who are also in recovery has been helpful. "You don't have to hide anything. It feels like a family. That's not always the case at other jobs." 

Recently, Anna announced she is moving on from Her 2nd Chance to return to college. She is grateful for her time with us and wants people to know how important our mission is. "It can change someone's life.  And for us, it's often a life and death situation."

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