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Meet Teresa, Tillman House Resident

If it wasn't for The 24, I would be homeless and standing on the side of an off ramp holding a “help the homeless” sign. That’s where I was before I came here.

How did you get started with drugs and alcohol? I lived in an alcoholic house in North Carolina, both of my parents were alcoholics and they let me drink thinking it was funny seeing how I would react to the alcohol. It probably started when I was 2 or 3 years old, but it started on a regular basis when I was 11 years old. I remember throwing up from the alcohol. I think that’s one reason why I really remember it – it made me sick. I began doing drugs in my teen years. I tried marijuana, LSD and crystal meth – we called it Maddog back then. I liked smoking marijuana until my 5 year old invited a “smoking” friend in to the house saying “come on in, Mommy’s got some joints” and that’s when I knew it was time to quit. That was about 30 years ago. Since then, I’ve been smoking crack. Me and my baby’s girl’s Dad used to go to a tavern for pool tournament. At the end of the night, I would be drunk from the alcohol and he would still expect me to drive. I started smoking crack because if I got pulled over it wouldn’t show up on the test. I would be inebriated but it wouldn’t show up.

Teresa, Tillman House Resident

How did you end up at Dallas 24 Hour Club? I was in detox in Winston Salem, NC and they asked me if I wanted to go to sober living. They suggested programs in Rhode Island, Las Vegas, Florida and Dallas, TX and I chose Dallas, TX because it was a pretty good ways away from everything and everyone that I associated with crack cocaine. I figured if I could get away from everything, then I could concentrate on myself. I reached a point in my age where the drugs and alcohol have taken away everything I have. When I got to Dallas, I went to a place in Grand Prairie for 2 weeks and they suggested The 24 and I didn’t know anything about it. They asked me if I was willing to work the steps. I didn’t know anything about the Steps, but I was willing to work them because I didn’t have any other option.

What is your greatest blessing? Quitting alcohol and drugs. People actually want me around them now. I used to be a total monster.

What is your greatest achievement? My life right now…holding a job. I started as a temp, then hired full-time and now I’m Employee of the Month.

What is one thing you want us to know? I think every state should have a program like The 24 because without it I don’t think I would have really made it. The phases you go through to get where you are, are put there for a reason. It’s the perfect prescription for substance abuse. Especially being homeless, you have nowhere to go, no family, you have to fight to survive. Recovery gives you hope back. You can come back from it. Every state should have a place like The 24.

What does recovery mean to you? Peace of mind. Just living life the way it should be lived. Day to day struggles, you don’t have that many because you aren’t trying to get something that you think you need.

Finish this: If it weren’t for Dallas 24 Hour Club, I would be: If it wasn't for The 24, I would be homeless and standing on the side of an off ramp holding a “help the homeless” sign. That’s where I was before I came here.


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