“I love to play the violin. I learned to play the cello, guitar and sing, too, when I went to a performing arts school in Albuquerque. I once auditioned for talent shows but my life was a mess. I lived in a tent in the backyard of my mom’s boyfriend’s house. They hate me. My mom did drugs and I did, too. They made me ask permission to come inside and shower. I could have left and stayed on the streets with my friends, but I only did more bad things. I drank, used and sold drugs. I didn’t make it past freshman year of high school. My little sister would often run away. I got so tired of the cycle and living that life. I wanted to die. So I began to overdose. When I overdosed a third time, I was in the hospital. My mom didn’t pick me up because she was hooked on drugs. About four days later, a neighbor came to pick me up. I was really weak, down to about 100 pounds. I started to plan my next overdose. I called my grandma and told her I was dying. I wanted to kill myself and knew I would be successful this time because I was so weak. My grandma left Gunnison and she came to live in the tent with me. She could have slept inside. But she stayed with me. A neglect case opened in the court because I was overdosing. I told them I didn’t want to live with my mom no more.
Then my grandma called Samaritan House. We immediately got in. Then I went to inpatient rehab and I got an AA mentor. It really helped me. When I came back to Samaritan House, my grandma and I moved back to the family floor. We’re so grateful. We got new clothing and support. I gained a lot of weight. I’m a lot healthier now. I’ve been clean for five months. My mind is clear and I don’t have to try so hard to act normal. My grandma applied for custody and the courts approved it. It took a year. I have empathy for my mom. She’s given up drugs but she still drinks. I know how hard it is.
I’m about to be 18. I’m going to work on getting my GED. That’s what I love about Samaritan House. They motivate you to do things every day. They accelerated things so much faster than on our own. We just got approved for our own place. My grandma got keys. We flipped a coin to pick rooms, but I’ll let her have the bigger one. This will be the first bedroom I’ll have on my own. Can you believe it?”