Patricia’s journey to taking charge of her own life began when she made the decision to escape an abusive relationship that had held her captive for 4 years. Leaving Sacramento, her hometown, she found refuge in Missouri living with her dad. However, the emotional toll of the abuse followed her and not being able to hold onto a job, she began drinking to numb the feelings that sought to overtake her. On a whim, she decided to come back to Sacramento, but nothing really changed for her, especially the escalated drinking.
In the spring of 2020 with the pandemic in full swing, she checked herself into Alpha Oaks, a residential recovery program for women, and spent the next 3 ½ months working on her sobriety. It was there she first heard of Saint John’s and decided that maybe this was her next right step. Walking through the Red Doors in August of 2020 was the easy part, learning to embrace the routines and expectations, not so much. Simple things like completing her chores and following a schedule were a challenge. But she persisted and as she attended classes and therapy she began to acknowledge the deeply buried emotions from the abuse she had experienced and the toll her addiction had taken.
With very low self-esteem, Patricia’s goal throughout her first months at Saint John’s was invisibility, flying under the radar. She would do what was expected, but keep a low profile while working her way through the program. All of that changed when she began her work experience at Plates. She shared, “I began to flourish because all of a sudden I was part of something worthwhile, I had something to contribute, a part to play, I was appreciated!” The routine that was at first an annoyance, became the thing she thrived on. Patricia continues, “I was ready to give up, but now my life has so much meaning!”
And what are her dreams for the future? At the top of her list is owning her own home and finding that dream job. She has experience in the medical field as a phlebotomist, but would ideally like to work in a medical office. She recently interviewed for a position at a veterinary hospital and is hopeful of being hired. Throughout this portion of her journey, Patricia is recognizing the good in her life, taking charge of her decisions and embracing great hope for a new future!
By Karen Edwards, Community Engagement Manager, Saint John’s Program for Real Change