How did you get started with The 24?
When I moved to Dallas, I was living in a recovery house and we would go to The 24 for Steak Night. Further down in my journey of destruction, I wound up homeless living out of my car. I was sleeping in a Greenville parking lot and it popped in my head – go to The 24. I went there the next day and they let me in. I stayed there 1 year and it changed my life. It was the rebirth of my spirituality. I was the Women’s Liaison as well, which really helped in rebuilding my self-esteem.
It’s very important in the recovery aspect that you have a continuation of a sense of belonging somewhere. Since the 24 is where I got sober, I find that home. It is a comfort. Being an alumni and being able to contribute to the place that helped me get sober is near and dear to me. That’s where my heart is.
Why did you choose to give back to The 24?
The 24 is where I got sober so my heart goes there completely because that is the place that saved my life. I joined the Friends of The 24 to help the residents by attending board meetings and events. Angela (the previous Chair) was passing the torch and wanted to know if anyone wanted to jump in. I was hesitant because she did so much and did such a great job. I wasn’t sure if I could give as much as she did. She really pushed me and encouraged me to move forward. I’m really excited to see how the FO24 will evolve with Tillman House.
What does recovery mean to you?
LIFE. It’s a whole new life and a whole new adventure of relearning yourself and also becoming a member of society again. Rebuilding yourself and being able to stare at yourself in the mirror. Having a relationship with your higher power.
What is one thing you want us to know?
The 24 is the best place in Dallas to get sober. The 24 is home to me. It’s the place that gave me my life back. I just feel there is no other place like it.
What’s new with the FO24? Where are you taking the FO24 over the next year?
With the new focus on Tillman House, I think that’s the direction to focus on with being able to help guide and be there for in that phase. We want to help the Tillman House residents step to another level in their recovery and life and help them create a sense of belonging.
What advice would you give to a new resident?
Don’t give up. The old building had a sign on the wall, "I didn’t say it was going to be easy, I said it was going to be worth it." I've held onto that saying anytime I've felt defeated. It resonated
with me so much that it helped push me through. You’ve got to persevere.