I have been coming to Inside Out for a few months and have known about it for a few years. There has been good things that have happened to me since I’ve gotten clean; I feel better about myself, I feel healthier, I have gotten a job. Everything has just changed for the better for me since I have gotten clean. I’m going to meetings and staying focused on doing step work and being around my sponsor, not around negative people in my life. The seeking safety groups are really helping me out especially the grounding and safe coping skills that I didn’t know about before, and the one on one peer counseling. I have lost a number of family members to addiction and I have been heading down that same path for years, I feel like Inside Out is the right place for me to be. M.B.(27)
I would like to begin by saying that my name is Bernadette, and I am many things in this life, but one of them is that I am an addict. I have exactly 4 years 7 months 29 days and 33 minutes clean from this moment. My clean date is August 28, 2010, and my drug of choice is Cocaine, but towards the end of my addiction I was using anything I could get my hands on that I knew would keep me from feeling. When I decided to get clean and change my ways, I went to a thirty day program and after that, and did whatever I had to do just to stay clean. I often went to NA meetings, I got a sponsor I started working the steps, and I begin to find freedom from active addiction. As I continued down my journey in recovery new doors opened up for me, I began going to school to be a substance abuse counselor, and I am one semester from graduating. Another amazing door that opened up for me was when I was given the opportunity to become a CPSW and work for Kathy Sutherand-Brauw, the founder of Inside Out. I am so grateful to be part of the Inside Out team. I love working with other people who struggle with addiction, and as I have learned, I can only keep what I have by giving it away. I work with individuals who are struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues, one way is by sharing my experience strength, and hope. Inside Out in return has helped me in many ways, not to mention with my addiction, and has helped to me grow in my recovery. I am now working in the field I have chosen as a career, so once again I would like to say that I am grateful to an employee of Inside Out, and I am here to serve my community by giving back to what was given to me… freedom from active addiction, strength, a new way of life, but most important of all HOPE!
Over the past 4 years, both as a consumer and a CPSW, my experience at Inside Out has been nothing less than amazing. Inside Out is an agency that I have seen grow in consumers and staff over the years and has been able to provide more and more services each year. This is a place where people walk in hopeless, with no direction (such as myself) and are treated with love and compassion by staff who have empathy and understanding from their own experiences. I have seen consumers receive help with housing, getting admitted into treatment, and receiving rides to the hospital to treat abscesses. I’ve witnessed consumers receive formula for their babies as well as food for themselves. Homeless who receive hygiene items and are able to receive clothes. Consumers who are grateful to participate in groups for Trauma and PTSD who could not afford to receive treatment elsewhere. There are many in the community including myself who are grateful that Inside Out exists. I personally do not think I would’ve been able to stay clean without the help I received from Inside Out; and the best part about this is in a community that has a high rate of poverty, all of Inside Out’s services are 100% free.
Well let me tell you, I struggled with drugs, (23 years on drugs), and always wanting to quit, but things in life bring me down, and drugs were always what I ran to. Inside Out has been here for me. When I get down, I can’t pay a bill, or if I need food, hygiene, or just someone to talk to that I know has been there, and what it’s like to fight the good fight, I go to Inside Out. By the grace of God, and now Inside Out; which I call home; the workers that I now call my family; that I have, and am so very grateful to have in my life. I lift them up every day in prayer. Inside Out has been a blessing because they have compassion and love for their clients. I hope and pray that they will always be here because THEY ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE. E.V. (52)
I am forty-six years old and have suffered from PTSD since I was a child. I have exhausted the amount of modalities offered to me which have included talk-therapy, in-patient hospitalizations, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), EMDR, group therapy, and a plethora of medications.
I stumbled upon Inside Out. I found out about the Seeking Safety program in conjunction with peer support. Gina James, my peer support and Seeking Safety practitioner has been more instrumental in my recovery than any of the above mentioned modalities combined.
We do not dwell in the past. We work on the here-and-now. Endless coping skills are learned. In addition, as Gina’s role as peer support, she offers her own personal experiences. This is extremely helpful not only by reassuring that I am not alone, but her shared experiences also offer helpful insight as to how she herself coped in similar situations.
I have a long way to go. However, I am committed to my recovery, especially that I have found both a program that works, but also someone who cares and is invested in my recovery.
I am so grateful to Kathy Sutherland for founding Inside Out, and Gina James for believing in me.