My name is Valerie, and I’ve been at Friendship House of Delaware now for just under a year. I was asked to make the commitment of one year in this program and to put my trust in my case manager, Shawn, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life, because it saved it.
I am an alcoholic and addict of the hopeless variety, running my life into the ground every time I pick up a drink or a mind-altering substance, and blaming everybody but me along the way. I could not see that the drugs and the alcohol were the problem, for 20+ years they were my only solution. I couldn’t hold a job, couldn’t keep a roof over my head, and couldn’t take care of my 4 children, let alone myself. I sought help dozens of times throughout my life, but I only wanted for someone else to fix the outside problems, help me get a job, a car, my kids back, and a home. It is no wonder that none of those things ever worked out and no one was able to help me. The problem was me, and if I wanted to change my life, I had to change ME.
When I arrived at Friendship House, states away from home, no family or friends to call, a load of debt and bad credit, sketchy work history, no kind of education, mental health problems, and a ton of bad habits and attitudes, I was pretty desperate.
With the guidance of Friendship House, I got to work, and I haven’t looked back. Every day, I have followed instruction and done the work on myself, on my addictions, on my mental health, work life, education, dental, credit, attitude, relationships and self care. I started to trust Shawn; she was there for me every time I stumbled across a self-imposed roadblock or hurdle. She helped me see where I went wrong by allowing me to see it for myself, offering only support and solutions, and leaving me to suffer the consequences of my own actions. Eventually I learned to trust more staff, and each one has helped me learn something about myself that was not working for me anymore, and allowing me the space to grow from it. My failures became successes. I was able to ask for help when and where I need it, and I was connected with an incredible amount of resources in this community that has helped me achieve my goals. Angie, another case manager, taught me how to talk about my feelings when I need to, and let someone in. Somehow letting go of the wheel, trusting the process and listening to guidance is helping me win this thing. I’ve put in a lot of hard work, but I could not have done it without the help of Shawn and the Friendship House staff, volunteers, and supporters. I am so grateful to this program, and I hope it shows. Thank you, Friendship House.