My name is Nicole and I am the mother of a healthy little boy named Coby who is my world. The fact that I am a great mother, daughter, sister and friend, which are all new concepts to me, is all something I never thought would be attainable. Being a first time mother is scary, especially when you have no one to help you support your family. When I came to Casa Teresa I had been addicted to alcohol and drugs for many years, and my life was spinning out of control. My drug usage was so severe, I experienced drug induced psychosis, suffered from extreme paranoia and anxiety, and have been diagnosed with PTSD from traumatic experiences. I was totally unable to function in a normal societal setting.
Well that was all 2 years ago and then I found Casa Teresa. I started in their Emergency Maternity Shelter and they welcomed me with open arms (literally). After 3 months of love and support, I was moved to The Parenting Program. They provided me with perinatal classes which helped so much with the pregnancy. I learned so much from these classes that Nurse Kerri facilitates. I had no clue what to expect having a child when I arrived at Casa. When it was time to have Coby, I was not even scared. I remembered all the classes and all the tips. It came so natural to me, all the nurses were shocked that this was my first baby. They said I was so well informed. After the baby, she has the parenting classes that cover everything from nursing to behavior, development, CPR, and tips on feeding and putting your baby on a schedule.
One of the things I love about Casa Teresa is the main focus. They really show us how to feel good about ourselves which developed confidence in me. When I feel confident about myself I am confident in making good decisions and choices for my family. I feel I am a great mother! Casa really built me up and has shown me how to follow my heart and to go after my dreams. This new found confidence enabled me to successfully return to school, to get a job, and to rebuild broken relationships within my family. Casa has helped me with all these things and guided me step by step. When I arrived I was so scared and today I understand my fears and I am no longer paralyzed by them. When thinking about my future I used to become panicky; well now I am so excited for my new life. It just keeps getting better and better. I thank God for Casa Teresa.
Casa Teresa has made such a positive impact on my life and without the help of my case manager Susan and Dr. Pugh, I’m just not certain what would have become of me. I have learned to love me and to feel comfortable in my own skin. I have learned to recognize my negative thinking and replace it with positive. I patiently work daily on my behaviors and healthy decision making skills, and I have learned to take care of me. It was not easy that’s for sure, but thanks to all the case managers, housemoms, Dr. Pugh and all the staff volunteers, I am a new woman with an exciting future ahead. I have 2 years of sobriety, I have graduated high school, completed probation, paid all my court fees, secured full time employment which I have had for over a year, regained my driver’s license and purchased a new vehicle. Most importantly, I love who I am today, I am hopeful and I am no longer afraid. My son and I will be forever grateful.