Meth-addicted mother of three turning her life around slowlyPublished 8:29am Friday, March 19, 2010
By JOHN EBY
Dowagiac Daily News
How does an intelligent, vivacious young woman wearing a cross around her neck land in Cass County Family Treatment Court after losing her home and three children?
Jessica, a recovering drug addict and alcoholic, took her first drink at 12.
At 14, “I not only drank, but I started smoking pot as well.”
Sweet 16? “I became severely addicted to cocaine, along with drinking and using pot every day,” which cost “thousands of dollars.”
“Last year,” she says, “my addictions led me to meth,” which can be made for $20 and sold at considerable profit.
“After being awake for days, I passed out,” the mother of three says.
“That morning, my kids woke up without me. Around 11, I was awakened by a family member. My two oldest, having been awake and alone for hours without supervision, were playing outside in my vehicle.”
Sept. 30 Cass County Department of Human Services removed her children from her custody.
She entered Family Treatment Court.
“Even losing my kids did not stop my insanity and my drug use,” Jessica admits. “Part of me was not sure I wanted my kids home. I was not sure I could change and be the mother they needed me to be. I was full of fear and doubt” which gnawed at her before months of classes, counseling and extensive therapy.
“Only then did I begin to apply myself and really stay sober,” she says. “I began to realize there’s no such thing as a perfect mother. Everyone makes mistakes. My kids needed me in their lives – sober. More importantly, I needed them in my life.”
Jessica, who was unemployed, lost her home five weeks ago.
“It was the best thing that happened to me,” she said with a sniffle, “because it led me to Hope’s Door.
“As a child, I struggled a lot, sometimes feeling unloved, unwanted or like I did not belong.
“At Hope’s Door we are a family. We eat together, cook together, clean together, shop together. We even go to church together. I feel loved and like I belong somewhere.
Without God, Hope’s Door, FTC and my family’s support, I don’t know where I would be today.”
A couple of weeks ago the court granted her an additional visit with her children.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Jessica said. “I know I am one step closer to my kids. Piece by piece, I am turning my life around.”
Last week Southwestern Michigan College accepted Jessica into its nursing program.
She has been sober more than 100 days.
“And happy,” she smiled, no longer hunched over so her hair hides her face.
“Six months ago I never thought these things were possible. Today, I believe all my possibilities are endless. I thank Hope’s Door tremendously for all the support they give me and to everyone else who stands behind me to push, and even shove at times, in the right direction.”
Family Treatment Court’s team meets Wednesday mornings.
St. Patrick’s Day Jessica was praised for her recovery progress and taken off house arrest.