Please take the opportunity to read a success story on the difference our programs have made for our consumers. Some of these shared stories have been written by our consumers in their own words and with their permission.My Story Youth H.E.R.O Program L.I.F.E. Youth Program Anxiety & Panic Recovery Focus Supported Employment
My Story by X
I started using drugs at age thirteen. Everyday day of my life I was high, drunk or on pills. I lost everything due to drugs and my mental illness: my family, my kids, my job, everything I owned. I went to South Community and took meds for years. But I was also high off of street drugs or drunk every day on top of my meds. I used to walk by the IDDT door and tell myself at least I’m not so bad off I need to be in there. I was never so wrong in my life.
Three years ago at 5:00 am in the morning I was in bed messed up on pills and pot from a late night. My door exploded. I didn’t wake up till I landed on my face on the floor. I woke up with a bunch of people dressed up in black with lights on and machine guns yelling at me. They turned on the light and the nightmare came true.
They were DEA, SAS, and DOJ agents. The United States of America had come for us. They chained us up, took us in a room and told us why they came for us all. The sad part was that didn’t even scare me enough to quit. I was not charged and three days later I was getting high again. In 2007 my therapist talked me into joining the IDDT program. I thought why not. I showed up the next week (with a joint in my car) and gave it a try.
For the next few weeks I brought a joint to smoke everyday on my way home from class and lied about being clean. I sat and listened to everyone and still said to myself I’m glad I’m not a drug addict. I couldn’t have been so wrong again. I was going to end my life on Easter Sunday 2007, but God came to me and told me He would help me if I would trust in Him.
I started getting clean from that day. The withdrawl was bad. I wrote goodbye letters and sent them to my family. I couldn’t take it. One day I was going to end it all again, I looked at my kids pictures and began crying. I walked out and went straight to Church and begged God to help me. I didn’t want to die.
I walked into IDDT the next day a new man. I had been clean twenty-four hours, the next day forty-eight, and on andon. After a week I had to say goodbye to my old using friends for good, all of them. This was my last chance to save my life. I started going to every class I could, five days a week. See I was not only fighting drugs, I was fighting anxiety. I never went out to eat and never drove more than five miles away from home for 10 years. IDDT had many tools for me to use and I needed them all.
I was in bad shape. Thirty days later I got an AA token for not using drugs. I was so proud. But everyday was a fight. The drugs wanted my soul. Every night I asked God to save me just for that night. At forty-five days clean I passed my first drug test since I was thirteen years old, I’m now forty-three. I was so proud. I was clean!
Then anxiety kicked in. I wanted pills to stop my pain. I didn’t ever believe it would go away without pills. I almost gave up several times. But I kept going to IDDT for my problems and then I was clean ninety days. Wow! Ninety days! I figured I had won this war, but once again I was wrong.
The drug came to me in my dreams. I would wake up shaking. But after a minute I knew it was only a dream. My brain had just had a using dream. I prayed almost every night. I went to IDDT and talked to my therapist and case manager a lot. I didn’t give up. It was so hard! I had to learn to live again in this world but clean this time. I learned I was not alone, that others also were in there for this fight called life.
Today I’m going on my ninth month clean and thanks to the IDDT staff and the people in my program I’m still alive. This war takes time. I still have a lot of work to do to get over the damage the drugs did to my body and soul. The key for me was to take meds as directed, believe in God, talk with my therapist and case manager a lot, and share my story and listen to others in class.
IDDT was by far the best way to learn how to get clean and understand how to manage my life with a mental illness Together as a group we can win this war. Today I’m proud to say I have been clean nearly three hundred days. I’ve quit smoking tobacco after twenty years. I can also eat out now and drive over five miles from home. I have learned how to control my mental illness and have reduced my anxiety meds by 90%. So anything is possible.
This is a 100% true story of my fight with drugs and mental illness. Thanks South Community and IDDT for helping me have a new life.
Youth H.E.R.O Program
To Whom It May Concern:
I am a parent of a child with special needs. We have been involved with South Community for many years. It is a partnership that I have come to rely on as an integral part of my son’s support system.
The summer program that South Community has in place is an awesome program that provides a wonderful opportunity for many kids at risk, who otherwise would be left out of a truly adventurous experience.
It has provided my son with many different experiences not limited to the fun and educational journeys they take, but also to the emotional one that helps him in the critical process of social interaction, team effort and learning to work on goals and skills across a broad spectrum.
This summer program is a critical part of my son’s success each year. We truly have enjoyed each and every summer program. The staff at South Community is very skilled and experienced. It offers a wonderful environment that is safe.
We (my family) look forward to every year at the Summer Program provided by South Community. And we hope it will continue for many years to come.
Thank you to all the staff that give of their time, talent and hearts to provide this critical program and to it’s a success each year.
L.I.F.E. Success Stories
The female youth was placed on probation in May of 2005 for a Domestic Violence offense and referred to the L.I.F.E. program in July of 2006. While the youth was on probation she was adjudicated of several Domestic Violence offenses and a felony Assault offense. She was very physically violent towards her family and refused to follow any household rules.
She had very few friends and frequently would bully peers at school. The youth was placed on home instruction due to her behaviors in class. She had a history of leaving the house for several days at a time without permission and frequently abused Marijuana, Cocaine, and Xanax.
Her parents were constantly in fear of her assaultive behavior and felt like hostages in their home. She was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Manic Depression, however would rarely participate in therapy.
As a result of the youth’s out-of-control behavior, the Court placed her at a residential treatment center to address her mental health and substance abuse issues. While in treatment, she continued to be resistant and was frequently a disruption. The agency asked that the youth be removed from placement due to consistent non-compliance. She was given one last chance to change her behavior and was referred to the L.I.F.E. program instead of being placed at the Ohio Department of Youth Services. She participated in family therapy for four months and developed coping skills that eliminated the physical violence towards her parents.
She continues to attend weekly AA/NA groups to maintain sobriety, has completed her G.E.D. and she successfully completed probation in December of 2006. The juvenile is a female that was referred to the L.I.F.E. program in June of 2006. She was placed on probation in September of 2004 for a runaway offense.
While the youth was placed on probation she continued to be truant from school, runaway frequently, and was also charged and adjudicated with several counts of Domestic Violence against her mother. She lived in a very unstable home. Her father abused alcohol and crack cocaine and was very verbally and physically abusive towards the youth and her mother. As a result of this instability, the youth would resort to the living on the street, abusing drugs, and engaging in inappropriate relationships with older men.
She was expelled from several schools due to being physically aggressive towards peers and teachers. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son at only 15-years-old. She was very violent towards her mother and would frequently get into verbal and physical altercations that resulted in police intervention. The youth was diagnosed with Post-Partum Depression and Oppositional Defiant Disorder in June of 2006.
The young mother was referred to the L.I.F.E. program because she continued to be violent towards her mother and would frequently abandon her son. Her probation officer was requesting that the youth be removed from the home because her behavior appeared to be escalating. She was struggling with depression and agreed to participate in the program to improve her relationship with her mother and to be a better parent to her son.
After six months of weekly family therapy and intensive probation supervision the youth successfully completed the program. She struggled with her lack of coping skills, however was able to remain focused and engage in new ways of communicating with her mother. She has not received any new charges and did not runaway. She began testing negative for all illegal substances, participated in parenting classes and is passing her classes at school.
Anxiety and Panic
I have had panic and anxiety for over 10 years. I have listed 10 things that helped me and might help you also. I used exercise along with eating right. I learned to look at anxiety in a different way. After doing these things along with getting tools from my case manager at South Community, I was able to reduce my meds by 90%.Yes, I still have anxiety but I have learned to live with it. I used my Higher Power also to get me through tough times.
- Remember, you are learning that you can function with discomfort
- Comfort is a desire, not a need.
- Try to function with the fear; accept it. Don’t fight it.
- Remember that although your feelings and symptoms are frightening, they are neither dangerous nor harmful.
- Understand that what you are experiencing is merely an exaggeration of your normal reactions to stress.
- Do not fight your feelings or try to wish them away. The more willing you are to face them, the less intense they become.
- Don’t add to your panic by thinking what might happen. If you find yourself asking, “What if?”, tell yourself “So what?”
- Stay in the present. Be aware of what is happening to you rather than concern yourself with how much worse it might get.
- Be proud of the progress you’ve made. Think about how good you will feel when the anxiety has passed and you are in control and at peace.
- Give up caffeine. This is like adding fuel to a fire.
- Remember that panic attacks always end, and you’ll feel ok again when it ends.
- Make sure you’re involved in something that interests you. Maybe a hobby.
- Do something every day within reason that you’re afraid of. Anxiety goes away after time when we face our fears head-on. Acccept anxiety.
To Staff of South Community
Thank you all for a wonderful training year. You guys were a great supportive staff to work with. I felt like I was part of the team here, and I appreciate everyone for helping me with anything I needed throughout the year.
I know that many agencies talk about having a recovery focus, but the staff here truly implements it. I noticed it and my clients noticed it. From the front service desk to the providers in the back, there is an emphasis on client care.
I enjoyed getting to know the staff and being a part of the team. I felt welcomed here from the beginning. You provide excellent service to people in need, and thanks again for a wonderful year.
My Story by Kaye Parker
I honestly do not know what I would have done without South Community. It has helped me so much in rebuilding my life. I went from living at home with my mother for financial reasons, and also severe depression, to having a place of my own and a job!
Thanks to South Community, I was able to get the therapy I needed. I was also able to obtain a caseworker, Lynn Wynstrep. Lynn helped me get my life back in order. Thanks to her guidance and perseverence, I was able to obtain the goals I was searching for.
Lynn also got me in contact with Donna Savage to obtain employment. Thanks to Donna who went out of her way making me a resume, and driving me to various locations for employment. Once again thanks to Donna, it did not take long.
I am in a much better place than I was a year ago, and I owe it all to South Community, they are truly a Godsend.Thanks again. Sincerly, Kaye Parker