Tracey – from Wagram, North Carolina – started using drugs and alcohol in 8th grade as a way to fit in and cope with her home life. Tracey grew up in an abusive household and experienced trauma as a child, which further fueled her drug and alcohol use.

Fast forward to over 30 years later, and Tracey’s addiction found her homeless as she lived from place to place between Carolina Beach and Rockingham. Tracey would do anything to support her addiction. She went to prison twice, and she went to jail a countless number of times.

“In my addiction, my mind was sick. I didn’t care about anything, as long as I was getting my next fix,” says Tracey.

Throughout her decades of addiction, Tracey tried to get help. She went to many 30- and 90-day programs, but needed a longer program for sustained recovery.

One night, she decided that she would go to detox the next day to find a place like TROSA to get help. A text from her daughter that same night reinforced Tracey’s decision.

“My daughter told me that I needed to get help, otherwise I couldn’t be in her life and my grandchildren’s lives,” says Tracey.“I got up the next morning and walked three miles to a hospital in the rain, so I could get help.” From there, Tracey went to a detox facility and then applied to TROSA, a multiyear residential recovery program in Durham, North Carolina. Tracey was accepted, and her daughter and son-in-law dropped her off at TROSA in Durham shortly after.

“When I walked up the steps to TROSA, I decided to be done with drugs and alcohol for good,” says Tracey. “And look at me now!”

Tracey’s community assignment in the Women’s Program provided support to TROSA’s female residents. “I loved my role in the Women’s Program because it helped me just as much as it helps them,” said Tracey. “I understand the women at TROSA because they have stories like mine. I can help support them and lead them and let them know they’re worth it and deserve a better life. I love it when I get to see our ladies succeed.”

At TROSA, Tracey developed self-esteem and self-respect and now knows that she can achieve anything she sets her mind to. Tracey graduated from the program in May 2019.

“I definitely see a transformation in myself. When I came here, I couldn’t even look myself in the mirror. I’ve gained confidence, and I can smile now. I never thought I would get to this point in my life. It’s hard to put into words because it’s so amazing,” says Tracey.

“I want people to know that no matter what you go through in your addiction, you still deserve recovery, and you still deserve a good life.”