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“Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it”. —Zaire K. Abdelman

Holly is an alcoholic.

I know because that is how she introduced herself.  There is something very powerful about putting it out there. Her posture was strong. Her attitude was positive. She was smiling when she said it! There was no shame or guilt. I think I am beginning to understand why they say that as their introductions in meetings. It is to own it, so it won’t own you.

Holly began each day drinking vodka and eventually would end each day throwing up blood and passing out.  After years of living this way she turned to AA and her journey to recovery began.

The first eight years of sobriety, Holly describes as bliss. She fell in love, married, owned a home, and had a daughter. She felt God in everything she did, or as she described it - “living on a pink cloud.”  During that eighth year her world fell apart. Due to side-effects of a medicine she was prescribed, she had a nervous breakdown, her marriage fell apart, and she lost her home.

While she clung to AA and her 5 year old daughter, they became homeless. For six months they had nowhere to go, “I came from a good family. My father was an attorney. My mother was a school teacher. I was raised in the Catholic Church. This cannot be my life”. But it was.

I don’t think anyone expects to be homeless. But people’s worlds do fall apart. Circumstances can be beyond control, awful situations do occur, and no one is immune. It can seem hopeless until you find out where there is hope. A way to safety and independence. A way out of the dark. A way home.

For Holly that was the Freeman Recovery Center*, The Next Door* Nashville, and Workforce Development. Holly and her daughter found comfortable housing, and Holly found the most suitable career she could hope for. She works for The Next Door as a clinical associate. She helps women work through their addiction and recovery. She knows the struggle and is a shining example of “If I can do it, you can do it, and we’ll do it together”.

“I am made of dreams”

Holly has big, beautiful dreams: “I have always wanted to buy an island and build my home there. The house hangs off the edge of a cliff, sheers blowing in the windows. I would love to have a gardener there with me for fresh vegetables and amazing gardens. Also, a chef to prepare creative healthy meals. I will have my speedboat at the dock for weekly trips to the mainland.”

In addition, she wants to create her own business selling antiques and jewelry.  And she also wants to open a rehab center that focuses on deep meditation and self-love.

14 Years Sober and Empowered

Holly’s embodiment of the empowered woman is a true testament to the spirit inside her to never give up, grit that is comparable to bending steel, and daring to dream.

“An empowered woman knows what she's powerless over.

There's a sense of empowerment in knowing. I'm powerless over drugs and alcohol. I am powerless over other people.

I’m empowered when I free myself from worry or trying to control outcomes. A woman empowers herself when she makes the choice to change for the better”. —Holly, the gardener of dreams

Freeman Recovery Center is dedicated to providing the best of care through an addiction treatment program. This drug and alcohol rehabilitation center is near Nashville, and allow guests to enjoy a comfortable, healthy and invigorating residential environment while they actively relearn how to experience and enjoy life.

The Next Door is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving women in crisis, equipping them for lives of wholeness and hope. The Next Door provides services to women who are impacted by addiction, mental illness, trauma and/or incarceration. In recognition of the common need among residents for mental health and addiction counseling, The Next Door provides an integrated model to address the co-occurring disorders. A professional team of counselors, case managers, nurse practitioners – both medical and psychiatric, medical doctors, masters level social work interns, mentors, and job coaches complete the staff to provide comprehensive coverage to residents’ needs.

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