Transformation takes place in group therapy. These four ladies who attend a DeKalb CSB group for mental health and substance abuse recovery asked to share their stories. During their times together, they have wept, laughed and encouraged each other to achieve their goals.
Starting from a young age, Yedda’s life was anything but easy. She was caught in the world of addiction and abuse for eight years. After a tragedy, she entered the forensic psychiatric system for 7 years and found the strength to overcome it all. When she came to DeKalb Community Service Board, Yedda discovered the support she was seeking. “The group taught me how to live again. I can express how I feel without sugar coating anything,” she said. After establishing herself within the support group, Yedda received her GED in 2011 and has high hopes of attending college to become a nurse.
Leslie has been clean for three years and is living her life how she has dreamt it. She has the intention of obtaining her GED and wants to better her relationship with her mom, children and grandchildren. “I don’t think of the past, I think of the future,” said Leslie. “I don’t think about going out to use drugs today, I think about my life, my health, and making myself better.”
After abusing alcohol and drugs for over 20 years, Katie suffered damages to her body and mind. She began to have panic attacks after consuming alcohol. These attacks were so severe that she could not go to the grocery store without breaking down. In 2010, Katie joined a group that taught her the harmful effects that drugs and alcohol have on your body and brain. “By coming to the group, I learned to control my panic attacks by talking with the group. No matter what you say, you can feel good because others understand what you’ve been through,” said Katie. Panic attack free, Katie has completed three semesters of community college and she aspires to become a licensed clinical therapist.
Clementine had a traumatic childhood that led her to an unwanted addiction. In 1990, she decided enough was enough and broke free of her addiction, but she still struggled with severe depression. Clementine was determined to not let her depression beat her and she joined a support group not only to overcome her obstacle, but also to motivate others to combat their addictions. “I learned about myself,” said Clementine. Clementine is defeating her obstacles and is proud of her Associate’s Degree in Psychology.