by Mandi Lindner
Gratefulness leads to benevolence as a graduate of Meta House gives back to other women and children in need.
Shirley was just a child when a male family member molested her. As a young woman she spent years in an abusive relationship, and eventually Shirley turned to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain of the abuse.
One of the things Shirley regrets from her time of substance abuse was her inability to provide her children with the Christmas they deserved. “The holidays weren’t what I would have liked them to be,” Shirley recalls, “Some of the things my kids wanted I couldn’t afford because I bought drugs instead.”
The good news is that Shirley received help for herself and for her family at Meta House. She’s been living in recovery for over 8 years, and says the holidays are now her favorite time of year. “[My kids] are happier now, I can afford more things, my girls and I cook together, we play games together – if I was high I wouldn’t be able to do that,” she says.
Shirley empathizes with women who are where she was before Meta House, and she tries to give back during the holidays. “I always feel for mothers and kids – especially those women who are still using. The only thing I’ve wanted is recovery – that’s always my Christmas gift. I try to give back so at least one kid has a good Christmas.”
Shirley is grateful for the gift she received at Meta House – the gift of recovery. To learn more about how you can give back by helping women in Milwaukee receive the gift of recovery, visit Meta House online at www.metahouse.org.