28 Aug Camille Finds Hope in An Unexpected Place
It’s Friday at 9:50 AM and Camille drops her children off in the children’s room on her way to WTLC’s Relapse Prevention Group meeting for the 3rd time this month. This meeting marks the half-way point of her 6-week journey of recovery and continued stabilization. Some days are easier than others, but she is committed to staying sober for herself and her children.
One year ago, Camille made the hardest and scariest decision of her life, to leave her abusive husband. A marriage of over 10 years had turned violent when Tony lost his job and was unable to find employment. “The longer he was out of work, the more depressed he became and his temper increased. That is when he changed.” In order to make ends meet, Camille took more shifts at the hospital where she worked as a nurse, but her prolonged absence at home only escalated the accusations and verbal abuse.
“We were all walking on eggshells around him. My children didn’t want to be at home with their dad. I was emotionally and physically exhausted and I felt like I was suffocating.” As a means to stay focused, Camille began to take Adderall. “It started just as one pill when I needed to focus so I could juggle everything in my life, but slowly one became multiple and ‘when I needed them,’ became ‘daily.’ I got to the point where without them, I couldn’t function.”
A co-worker noticed Camille’s behavior and helped her get connected to WTLC. Camille enrolled in individual counseling where through processing her abuse and trauma she decided to divorce her husband. “I remember the day he moved out, that night the kids and I felt so relieved. We had no idea how much impact his behavior had on all of us.”
As Camille continued in counseling she discovered that her addiction was a product of her trauma and her dependency on the drug was a way to cope with her abuse. Her counselor recommended the Relapse Prevention Group.
Rosalba Hermosillo, MSW Supervisor at WTLC coordinates the Relapse Prevention Group. “We understand that trauma and DV are connected to participants abusing substances as a way of coping because of past trauma and DV related incidents. Attending this group can help them learn new ways to cope with the trauma and DV.”
The Relapse Prevention Group is designed so that participants learn different ways to stay clean, learn to build new coping skills and work through the shame and guilt they might feel. Group participants also have the opportunity to connect with other participants who are going through a similar situation, and can build a support group within. Our holistic approach teaches participants about mindfulness meditation as a way to deal with stressful situations rather than using substances. WTLC also provides free child care so that parents can focus on recovery.
All survivors deserve the resources to heal from situations of violence and exploitation. You can take steps to help. Each of us has the power to make a difference.