For LaShonda it was a second chance at being a mom: “I am a strong example for my kids!”
When LaShonda entered Avivo’s family treatment program, she thought it was a blessing in disguise. Living in recovery with her daughter, she is proud of her sobriety and looking to the future.
LaShonda grew up in Chicago. She recalls several traumatic experiences when she thinks about her childhood. She shared that she had her first son at a very young age and stepped out on her own to raise him. She fled from an abusive relationship with her oldest daughter’s father. Then, according to LaShonda, things seemed to turn around a bit when she moved to St. Paul and found a job.
LaShonda shares that her first experience with treatment was seven years ago. “I stayed sober for five months. Avivo is my second go-around in treatment,” she adds. “And I have made it 20 months.”
Her journey with Avivo started last year. She went through detox and needed to enter a treatment program. When she heard about Avivo’s family program, it was a chance to go through recovery with her daughter.
“In other treatment programs you are away from your children. It is hard to jump into life sober with children when you have been away from them,” she shares. “Here, I was able to have a second chance at being a mom and be with my daughter. Do it right this time.”
“In other treatment programs you are away from your children. It is hard to jump into life sober with children when you have been away from them … Here, I was able to have a second chance at being a mom and be with my daughter. Do it right this time.”
At Avivo, she has found strong supports to help her with her goals.
“Substance use and mental health go hand in hand, and I appreciate Avivo’s approach. I take medication every day to help. I have community and support. I don’t feel alone,” she describes. “I have learned to be vulnerable and ask for help. This time I took it serious. I surrendered.”
Now in the last phase of treatment, LaShonda is looking to graduate in February. She used to work in the medical field as a certified medical assistant. She is taking an online class to prepare for entry in a training program to be a phlebotomy technician. The online class gives her the flexibility she wants to spend more time with her daughter.
“I have found me… a strong Black woman that will not be defined by her past,” she shares. “I want to be an example for my kids and for them to know my commitment as mom.”