My name is Ivy and I was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. My drug abuse began when I was 14 years old. At the age of 18, I gave birth to my 1st child. She was born cocaine positive. At age 23 I had my 2nd child, who was also born cocaine positive. By that time my drug addiction had spiraled out of control. What I mean when I say that, is that I was willing to do whatever it took to get the next fix.
April 4th, 2006 I gave birth to my 3rd child who was also cocaine positive. At that very moment my heart sank and all I could think about was that: I’m homeless, on drugs, and the 3 children that God created for me are gone. April 24th, 2006 I had a spiritual awakening. I didn’t want to live like this anymore, but I had no clue where to begin. I had heard of all the different types of shelters that were out there, but I needed one that was going to show me how to live – one that would monitor my every move – one that would tell me when, and what to do consistently.
June 9th, 2006 I went to Aurora, a new beginning for mothers & children. I was unsure of what I wanted, but I knew that I deserved to give myself a chance at living a normal life, without the use of drugs/alcohol.
While at Aurora, I learned that the 3 a.m. late night bowl of ice cream and cookies was definitely out of the question. (Smile)
While at Aurora, I learned to respect myself and others. I learned how to prepare a meal for 13 women and children. I learned how to be responsible and honest. I learned how to be reliable and hold myself accountable for what I wanted out of life. I learned that hygiene and the way I dress tells a lot about me.
Being a resident for one year at Aurora gave me the time I needed to process and focus on my recovery. Could I have accomplished that in 30 days? No. Three months ? No. Not even six months. It took me at least one year to begin seeing beyond the fog. I took the programs and opportunities that Aurora had to offer and I continued to grow. I am now a case manager assisting those who are homeless, and also assisting with substance abuse and mental health. I work part time as a house monitor at Aurora.
Being involved with Aurora long term gives me a reality check – that this is where my life began – and how many more will come through those doors, seeking the same help that I so desparately needed. April 24th, 2012, I celebrated my 6th year of continuous sobriety, with the help of sponsorship and the 12 step program.
Most of all, my 3 children are home with me and I have a loving fiancé who has been with me throughout my journey.
I thank God for Aurora.
I am finally FREE from the prison that I placed myself in. Today I understand why it may rain on one side of the street and not the other. It was the clouds all the time.
Special thanks to the staff for all their help, caring support and for being a part of who I am today.
To the board members and all of Aurora’s supporters, I can honestly stand here today and say that without your contributions and Aurora’s missions, I don’t know where I would be.
My family and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Sister Dorothy, if you’re listening, Thank You !