“I like myself now. I am happy with who I am and what my name carries. I’m proud of myself. I’ve taken my power back.” Through her community assignment at TROSA Moving and support within the TROSA community, Christian has found resilience, confidence, and happiness.
Growing up on the North Carolina coast, Christian lived in a home where it was okay to drink at any age. By age fourteen, she was already drinking heavily. She was introduced to opiates at twenty, and they immediately took hold of her life. “The day I tried them, I never stopped, and soon I was using multiple substances.” Christian was in active addiction for thirteen years. She attempted several shorter-term treatment programs, but was never able to maintain her recovery.
“One day, I overdosed and was revived. When I overdosed, they sent an ambulance and also a detective with the Anchor Initiative at the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office.” The detective was very concerned for Christian and urged her to seek treatment. When Christian was arrested several days later, the detective helped advocate for her to try treatment at TROSA. “He drove me here to TROSA and I’m so grateful that he believed in me and advocated for me. He didn’t give up on me.
“When I got here to TROSA, it was nothing like what I expected…there is a lot of love in this program. People are each other’s cheerleaders and that was something different to experience. Having the level of support and friendship that I found here, especially within the TROSA Women’s Program, was something I was not familiar with. The concept here at TROSA to help residents build up life skills and get to know ourselves over time really works.”
Every TROSA resident participates in community assignments to gain vocational and life skills training. Through community assignments residents learn to work as a team, identify behaviors they may want to change, and develop connections. Christian has enjoyed her community assignment at the award-winning TROSA Moving social enterprise. “I help coordinate requests from customers for damages and claims. I have learned a lot about professionalism, how to navigate different personalities, and how to provide compassion when on the phone with customers.”
At TROSA, Christian has taken advantage of various opportunities. She has regained her driver’s license, earned her North Carolina Peer Support Specialist certification, and she has benefited from life skills and therapeutic classes like Anger Management and Grief & Loss. “I really enjoyed my classes. Learning about mindfulness and to stop and pause and think about why I’m feeling the way I am has been very helpful”
When entering the program, Christian had multiple dental issues. Damaged teeth, missing teeth, and oral infections caused pain and made eating difficult. “I received beautiful dentures. I would never have done that or been able to afford it without TROSA’s services.”
Today, Christian is a TROSA graduate. She walked the TROSA graduation ceremony stage in February 2022 and decided to stay at TROSA in a post-graduate role in order to continue her recovery goals and to serve as a mentor to others. She sees this extra time at TROSA as an investment in her and her daughter’s future.
“My daughter has always been my biggest cheerleader. My addiction has always been transparent to her—for better and for worse. It feels really good to give her the person that I am now.”
Christian personifies and benefits from TROSA’s community approach of ‘Each One, Teach One.’ “I’ve learned how to be the person I am by watching other people in the program. I looked up to the post-graduates in the program,” she shares. “Now, it feels really good to know that people are looking up to me.”