Last week, we shared the story of a former client’s visit back to 525 Forest Avenue, the home of Crossroads’ halfway house program. This week, we’re sharing the impact Ashley’s visit had on one particular client. The following post was written by halfway house client Melissa W.
The front door of Crossroads Back Cove in Portland, Maine.
As a client of Crossroads, I often wonder how many clients continue on their journey for a better life. Since being in the Back Cove program, we have had the opportunity to hear from several past clients. Each of these women has volunteered their time to share their stories of experience, strength and hope. They have assured us that we too can remain clean and sober if we continue to work our program.
Although many of these women have given us the courage to move forward and the belief that all things are possible, there has been one particular woman that really has made an impact on us as a group.
Ashley is a former client. She was seeking direction and guidance from those who could show her a new way of life. Her story includes having no support from her immediate family. She had only herself and Crossroads staff and clients. She told us she made the decision for continued treatment on her own because she couldn’t continue living her life the way she was. This reason alone makes her one of the bravest women I have ever had the pleasure of coming in contact with.
Ashley talks about her life at Back Cove as anything but simple but shares how rewarding it was in many areas of her life. After all, living with eleven other people can be difficult and frustrating, especially for anyone not used to being in relationships with others, much less themselves. Regardless of the obstacles she encountered, she is recovering from the disease of addiction.
Ashley is now living in housing with other women in recovery. She goes to school to pursue her passion in cosmetology. She is able to hold down a position at a local retail store and enjoys her job. Ashley has a sponsor, has worked the steps, and soon will be able to sponsor other women in the program. On her days off, she volunteers her time to women who are dealing with addiction in hopes that she is able to make a difference to someone in need.
One day, a few weeks ago, Ashley was able to come into Back Cove and cut the hair of any female in the house that wanted a haircut. While here, Ashley spoke to each of us as if she had known us forever. She complimented the program nicely and showed much gratitude to all that she had learned while she was here. Ashley said something to me that day that I hope to never forget. She told me, “never turn down a chance to have a relationship with another female.” She explained to me that many people will come and go but not trusting the next women that enters your life could cause you to miss out on an opportunity to meet someone really terrific. I needed to hear that, and it was refreshing to hear because I could tell she believed everything she was saying.
By the end of her visit, we all agreed that she is very good at what she does and were all happy with her work as well as her generosity.
Ashley reminded me that being sober and staying clean has many rewards; they are simply the “gifts of sobriety.”
Ashley is human, she knows things happen, but how we react to them is what is important. Ashley has a full understanding of what it takes to maintain her sobriety, and she has worked hard to achieve this goal in her life.
Her presence and sincerity is extraordinary. She is genuine in her intentions of helping others in addiction. The knowledge that she holds is amazing and her willingness to share her experience, strength and hope is profound. I have no doubt in my mind that she will continue on her own personal journey to better her life on a daily basis.
Ashley is a powerful example for many and proof that this program works… if you work at it.