A tragic accident took the life of Nettie’s little girl, Daisy, when she was just 2-years-old. A doctor at the hospital gave Nettie a Valium to help her cope with the overwhelming loss. It was the beginning of 20 years of addiction.
Nettie moved from prescription drugs to cheaper and more easily-accessible street drugs. For 15 years, she used heroin daily. She spent almost 10 cumulative years in jail for crimes such as theft and drug sales, and her son was put into foster care. Nettie tried many times to overcome her addiction. She went through several programs but was never successful – until, that is, she went to POWER.
“For the first time in 20 years,” Nettie says, “there were people who truly believed I could recover from addiction. Everyone on the POWER House staff seemed to believe in me – even the maintenance man.”
Other women in the House who were making progress in their recovery inspired Nettie. “There was one woman there – I really looked up to her, and I wanted that happiness. I wanted to have that level of serenity and calm. So I started mimicking her behavior, and as I did, wonderful things began to happen.”
“I did big things,” Nettie says of her time at POWER House. “I thought I was going to lose my son. CYF [Children, Youth and Families] was in the process of changing the goal to adoption.” With POWER supporting her, she worked very hard and retained custody.
“POWER gave me the tools to be able to look outward from the House to the things that I needed,” including additional therapy for trauma, and treatment for health issues. “I loved it at POWER,” she says. She worked very hard to complete all four phases of the House’s treatment program and graduated a month early.
That was three years ago, and Nettie has been in recovery ever since. She lives with her boyfriend and son and goes to community college part time. She works full-time helping women who are leaving prison, and she volunteers to take POWER House residents to 12-step meetings. “I can’t emphasize enough,” Nettie says, “how important it is to me to work with women in recovery.”
She’s also taking classes to be a Certified Recovery Specialist, “so I can be a Miss Kathy,” a POWER staff person who had a big influence on Nettie. “She can relate to me; she’s been there, she’s lived the life, and she pulled herself out. I want to be that person for another woman.”
“I never thought I could get three years clean after losing my daughter. I’ve re-built connections with my family that I’d lost completely. I spend every day trying to better myself. I learned to do all that at POWER.”