Written by Tonia Bird, Director of Admissions
I can’t take this anymore.
I think my family would be better off without me.
Sometimes I just wish I were dead…
These statements are often heard from clients when they bravely call into admissions asking for help. The women calling The Next Door are broken and usually at the lowest point they have ever been in their lives. They are hurting and in desperate need when they call.
Admission counselors take the time to listen to these women with compassion and love while gathering the information needed to determine if the client is appropriate for our treatment services. When women arrive for admission, they are frightened and searching for faces of hope and encouragement. So many people in their lives have given up on them. They are often full of guilt and shame. We take the time to kindly walk them through those first hours to help ease their anxiety. We want them to know that someone cares and understands their journey.
Life is hard, and this disease is crippling. We understand that the women coming in for treatment are not bad people but have made poor choices because of their debilitating disease. Most people in society are aware of the opioid epidemic but show little empathy for the people suffering. What people don’t understand is that the majority of these women have come from a long history of abuse and trauma. Often, they are children of addicts. I want women coming in for treatment to know that society may have given up on them, but The Next Door will always be here to support and encourage them throughout their road to recovery. We want them to know that we have not given up on them. And God will never give up on them.
I feel good knowing that every day I go to work I am helping better lives and am impacting society in a positive way. I have family suffering from addiction. It is my passion to help women understand that there is a different way to live and that it is possible to recover from the disease of addiction. I know what it feels like to lose hope, so it is amazing to get to show love and encouragement to women who have lost hope. I’ve been in some dark places in my life, and God and the love of others are the only things that kept me going.
I want to give back and be the ray of hope for others who have lost that hope. I feel that God has prepared me through my many life experiences to be in the position that I am today on the front lines, accepting calls from women in crisis. It is a blessing to be able to give strength and hope to others and love them unconditionally, just as God would want me to do.