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Meet Venice: A Bridge to Sobriety

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“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” – J.P. Morgan

Venice had lost complete control over her life, without even realizing it. Unable to hold a job, she struggled to escape the constant paranoia that went on in her mind after filing for divorce and child support from her abusive ex-spouse. In time, Venice started to develop paralyzing nightmares and a deeply-rooted fear of a home break-in due to her traumatizing past with her previous partner. As she struggled to get a hold of her thoughts, she started to fall into a deep dark path of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress issues. One day, Venice decided to check herself into the psychiatric hospital after the mental warfare going on in her mind was too much to bear alone. At the hospital, she continued to struggle with her mental health problems but was hopeful that a different treatment plan would help her inner pain would go away. Once discharged, she unfortunately did not get the outcome she so badly wanted to come true, but instead faced an even more challenging road ahead…

Over the next couple years, Venice started to abuse her newly re-instated medications, landing herself in and out of court-coerced mental health treatment and a long-winded spell of hospitalizations and rehabs. Venice’s drug addiction started to spiral as she denied to face her problems and succumbed to her disease. At her breaking point, she started hearing voices that lead her self-worth to plummet and commit to numerous suicide attempts. Just as she thought her addiction got the best of her, she finally decided to muster all the strength she could and work with local halfway houses, rehabs and behavioral health providers like Healing Bridges in order to stabilize her mood to maintain a good relationship with her daughter and granddaughter.

“Healing Bridges was extremely patient with me while getting me on the correct meds and helping me through my mental health issues,” Venice said. “I always needed a lot of attention, and it meant a lot that that you guys did that for me. My life was very complicated before starting treatment, and I know now that drug addiction played a major role in my mental health and stability.”

Ever since the beginning of Venice’s mental health journey, Healing Bridges staff have been determined to implement a medication treatment plan that not only alleviates her PTSD and depression symptoms, but also motivates her to stay healthy and clean. With the medication plan she now has in place, Venice is responding well to treatment and has been in remission for two years.

“I have been really good with staying clean and out of the psych ward ever since starting my new meds and showing up to my appointments more and more. I can proudly say that I am about two years sober now, and I am more motivated to leave the house and do things.”

During her newfound sobriety, Venice finally overcame her intrusive thoughts of home invasion and has moved on to travelling in and out of the country with the people that support and love her. On top of being a novice adventurer, she has since been able to purchase a new home and car, which she never thought would ever be possible after losing her license, housing and multiple job opportunities while in the thick of her addiction. By using her love of puzzles and games as coping mechanisms for when she feels triggered, she has been able to keep her composure and stay positive through many of life’s obstacles. As for future plans, Venice has stated that she would like to go back to school and remain consistently stable.

“The most important thing to me is to keep seeing the doctors and nurses because it helps me find stability and not relapse. This is the longest I have been sober for in years, and I feel like I am doing really well. I am loving my new house, and work has been so far so good.”

Even with Venice being upbeat and happy about her progress so far, Healing Bridges still encourages her to actively participate in her routine med checks, and she now looks forward to seeing nurse Robin and certified nurse practitioner Maddie when she comes to her appointments.

Mental health and substance abuse issues can affect anyone. Help us save lives and reach people looking for a way out like Venice by donating to Healing Bridges. You could be the next hero in a person’s recovery story.

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