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Meet Vanessa T., Tillman House Alum

Vanessa arrived to The 24 after a traumatic experience left her ready to take control of her life again. While at The 24, Vanessa earned her Welding Certification from Dallas College for FREE. She now lives a life of recovery and has a strong relationship with her Higher Power and her family.


How did you get started with Drugs and Alcohol?

I had a difficult upbringing as a child. I experienced trauma and my dad was an alcoholic which turned me off from the idea of drinking. Growing up, I often hung out with my older cousin who was a big partier, and at age 12, I did cocaine for the first time. It felt like the first “love of my life” because it offered an escape from everything going on at home. Within a year I was completely hooked on cocaine and immersed in the lifestyle, even doing drug runs to Mexico at age 14. However, at 16, pregnant with my first child, my life changed for the better. I quit drugs for over a year and excelled in school. School offered another escape from being at home and I graduated high school with honors and a 4.0 GPA. I went on to have my younger son at 19, my daughter at 21, and became single after leaving an abusive relationship. I started to put myself through college, but things changed when I got involved with a man who sold drugs. After he went to prison, we lost our home and I found myself homeless in Fort Worth.


How did you end up at Dallas 24 Hour Club?

An incident occurred while I was having an epileptic seizure where I was raped by a stranger. This enraged me enough to want to fight for my life again. It no longer felt like my life that I was living. My mom got me an Uber to Dallas 24 Hour Club. I didn’t know anybody or anything on this side of the DFW Metroplex, so everything was new. It took a while for me to feel settled in, but once I became involved in the community here at The 24, never looked back.


What does Recovery mean to you?

Recovery means that I’m giving myself a chance at life again. I’ve become such a better person because of the tools in sobriety. I’m able to deal with things in healthy ways, pause a lot more, set boundaries when necessary, and love myself again.


What is your greatest achievement?

Having faith in my Higher Power and a real connection has been a huge achievement. There’s no way I could be without that. I’m also now a certified welder which will open new doors for me.


What is your greatest blessing?

The greatest blessing has been the doors my Higher Power has opened, especially with my family. I talk with my oldest son now every other day, and my youngest son and daughter are becoming more open to working on our relationships. After having lost all communication with them in my addiction, this progress is a huge blessing. I’ve also met so many great people through the Program and this sober way of life.


Finish this sentence: If it weren’t for Dallas 24 Hour Club…

… I couldn’t have found my true self. I was made to work the Steps here, make amends, help others, and now I’m sponsoring, I’ve got a car, a job, I entered welding school and am now a certified welder, I’m repairing connections with my family, the list goes on! I wouldn’t have been able to do any of those things without having found my true self… my recovered self.


What is one thing you want people to know?

I would let people know that everyone’s Recovery path is different, no one’s journey is going to look the same. Recovery is personal to each person and their Higher Power. I started out by asking people things I was only going to learn through experience. It wasn’t until I trusted my Higher Power and the process, that I was able to come into my own and become the person I never thought I could be.


If you or someone you know needs help, we are here. To inquire about intake or our Program, please speak with a Program Manager by calling 214-823-3200, ext. 1 or by visiting The 24 (4636 Ross Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75204) during intake hours: 7 days per week, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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