“Wow. My bouts with alcohol addiction... What a long and windy road that was. It lasted for over thirty-five years. Where should I begin!”

Teresa contributes her alcoholism to many factors: from alcohol being legal at eighteen to the outcomes of two failed marriages. She experienced financial and legal problems and ultimately the most difficult event for a parent to overcome—the loss of a child. At fifty years old, Teresa managed to receive her first DUI, go through serious heart issues and experience truly the most traumatic event of her life. She explained, “Once the loss of my son hit me, I was invisible to the world, even to myself.” Teresa was immersed in so much pain and misery that she didn’t know where life could possibly go from there. With all those factors in play, the dominos began to fall, and her drinking became an everyday habit. Her life became increasingly more unmanageable.

The grief that was deteriorating her from the inside out, coupled with her legal troubles and health issues, buried Teresa in serious depression. She shared, “It all happened at once, and the only solution that I could possibly see was the bottle.” Fortunately, ATS was there to help Teresa through these trials. Teresa found serenity at Phoenix Hall, the women’s treatment facility, where she was able to deal with not only her addiction to alcohol but also her emotional and mental anguish over the loss of her son. Through the various classes and counseling sessions, Teresa was able to finally accept her son’s death. Plus, she was relieved to realize that his death wasn’t her fault and that alcohol wasn’t the solution. Ultimately, she came to a spiritual and emotional awakening that taught her how to gain control and take her life back from the grips of her addiction. She learned to empower herself by immersing her mind and experiences with sober literature and sober people.

“Meetings and readings are my words,” she so proudly says today as a mantra.

Upon completing the twenty-eight-day program at Phoenix Hall, Teresa went to live at Ruthy’s, a sober transitional home for women. There she began attending TRIM, which is a series of meetings that help individuals transition into sobriety and learn the tools that will help with everyday struggles. These meetings gave Teresa strength and hope, allowing her to become stable, feel optimistic about life and maintain a clear mind.

Her gratitude for ATS is astounding. She gives praise and thanks for all the different programs and facilities that are available to help individuals like her. She emphatically stated, “I don’t think I would be alive today if it wasn’t for this God-saving organization.” She has become a wiser person through her experiences with ATS! Laughing with an infectious giggle, she shared, “I didn’t think it was possible for an old woman set in her ways to learn anything more about life, but through it all, I learned you must maintain a sense of humor in sobriety!”