I would not be the woman I am today if not for Athena House

A.K.’s Story

I’m A.K. I’m an alcoholic.

I am a third-generation addict. I started using on my thirteenth birthday and since then, have lived only slivers of time when I’ve been clean and sober. I am also a daughter, sister and friend. My favorite title of all: mother.

Just before entering Athena House on September 13th, I hit the lowest point of my life. I wanted to die. Then, I asked for help and Athena gave me the opportunity I badly wanted.

I am stubborn. I have a seven-year-old son who is autistic. For the last four years, my mom has had guardianship over him. Before entering treatment, I was calling him daily. When they told me I wasn’t allowed to call him during the first week of treatment, I wanted to leave. At that point, I was still not caring about myself and thinking only about my street life and the people who came with it. The switch happened when staff revoked privileges to make me focus. At first, I was angry and ready to sign over custody of my son and go back to what I knew. Instead, I sat down, shut up and began working on myself.

During my stay at Athena, my son didn’t want anything to do with me. But now I have nine months sobriety. I have a job. I love working with adults with intellectual disabilities. I have a solid support group and a sponsor. I am present for my son. I now see him multiple times a week and talk to him daily. I have a home with my sister and our friend who are also in recovery.

I would not be the woman I am today if not for Athena House. I started college this week and my dream is to become an RN. I am beyond grateful for where I am in life and who I am today.