I was alone and lost, thinking my life might as well be over because nobody cared. It was a horrible way to feel, but with Coleman’s help, I was able to start my path to recovery.
I grew up with nine siblings and had what I considered to be a “normal” childhood. With a family that size, there were always chores to do and siblings to play with. Now, I realize I come from a family of drinking and drugging – but then, I didn’t know it was unusual.
In my teens, my sisters and I would sneak out to a party. Once, when I was drunk, I was raped. My mother blamed me because I’d been drinking. That was just one of many traumas in my life.
I got married and started a family. My husband worked, while I raised our three kids. I drank but never felt out of control. When we divorced, it was terrible and stressful; I spiraled down and turned to alcohol. My family and I didn’t realize I had a mental illness in addiction to an alcohol problem and needed help.
I was jailed, hospitalized and put into a nursing home several times. I was very sick in the nursing home and was not getting treatment for my illnesses. Numerous attempts at counseling weren’t helpful, until I was directed to Coleman. Once I started counseling at Coleman and began to see the psychiatrist, I finally started down the path to being healthy.
My psychiatrist realized I had an alcohol addiction, schizoaffective disorder and depression, and he began to treat all of my illnesses. I moved into one of Coleman’s supportive housing units, where I lived with six other women. Our case managers and nurses did daily checks and made sure we had our medications. I also participated in individual and group counseling sessions.
In the home, we had chores and learned independent living skills. I felt closer to the women there than my actual family. I improved my behavioral health, and with the help of the Coleman doctor and nurses, I also lost weight and am feeling healthier. After several years in supportive housing, I was well enough and had the skills to move into an independent apartment.
Having my own apartment was a dream I wouldn’t have achieved without Coleman’s help. I had no money for a deposit, but my case manager arranged for a grant from the Coleman Foundation. Now, I’m living independently, and I am proud to say I have repaid the grant so another person in need can use that money.
My family and I have made our peace, and they understand that I was very ill. While I don’t see some of them because they still drink, I do spend time with my daughter and her kids.
If I ever meet anyone who is sick like I was, I will tell them to go to Coleman. I want others to have that lifeline available to them. Coleman is there for you. They work for families, and at one point in my life, they WERE my family. Everything you need to live a healthier, happier life is at Coleman.
True story of a Coleman Behavioral Health client from Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties.