Lucy has been in recovery since 2011, but even after treatment, life hasn’t always been easy.
When Lucy left Gateway Aurora, she returned to four children who had also struggled with her addiction. Some of them wanted nothing to do with her. And she had to rebuild trust with the ones who did.
Drugs and relationships had gone hand and hand for Lucy ever since her first drink with her sister at 14 years old. Within three years after that first drink, she had moved out of her parents’ house and fallen into a spiral of toxic relationships with older, abusive men. When she met her second husband she also experienced her first hit of crack cocaine.
“I lost my life,” she says.
Soon she was spending $800 a day on drugs. She lost custody of two of her children, then the house, then the job. She landed in prison, then drug court and, finally, Gateway.
Lucy started repairing her relationships, beginning with herself. In therapy, she learned how to break down the way she thinks. She learned gratitude and self-worth, which she had been substituting with alcohol and drugs.
After treatment she secured a job driving an ice cream truck, a big change after a successful career in accounting. Then she found an entry-level job at McDonald’s. The same insecurities and self-doubt that had worked against her during active addiction were still working then.
It was tough, but this time, she had the relationships and tools to overcome them. She says, “It took my daughter saying, Who cares that you have to wear the hat, who cares what job you have, if you’re providing for your family?”
It also took revisiting the lessons she had learned from her Gateway counselors.
“They taught me how to live,” she says, “They taught me how to be okay with me.”
“They taught me how to live. They taught me how to be okay with me.”
“Sobriety is anonymity for a lot of people, but for me, I hold my head proud,” she says. “You matter. Gateway made sure I knew I mattered.”
She worked her way up from a crewperson to general manager at a McDonald’s and uses her position to give back to others in recovery whenever she can, because she knows what is possible when someone gives you a chance.