Finding Life, Hope, and Forgiveness after Addiction, CPS, and Jail

KYRS Radio Interview: With guests Sarah and Angela from Hearth Homes

 Sarah is a former resident of Hearth Homes who recently shared on KYRS radio station what her experience was like here, and how her life has been transformed after making a commitment to change. In her interview she states that her motto in life is ‘change isn’t comfortable; if you are comfortable with something you are not changing. Be willing and be teachable; it is worth it.”

Marie (KYRS Radio): Sara can you describe to us a little bit of your story? How you got to the point of working with Hearth Homes?

I got introduced to Hearth Homes because I was in treatment and my program was getting shut down. I needed to find a sober and safe living environment for myself. Hearth Homes seemed like the right fit for me. They are Christian based and understanding. I was on my last leg of CPS and I moved into Hearth Homes and got grounded there. I need someplace to build a healthy foundation for my sobriety and for my life.
They were there for me in all of my struggles.  Hearth Homes gave me that extra strength and were always there as a support and somebody I could come talk to. They let us learn on our own, but at the same time they are there to help teach us to live on our own and make healthy decision for ourselves. It was pretty rigorous at first fitting into their rules and time frames and making sure I was doing all the requirements for them, STEP court, probation, and outpatient; but it was worth it. I got to celebrate my one year clean there, I got to celebrate getting my son home from CPS, I got to celebrate Christmas there with all three of my children. I just have a really good life now thanks to the help of Hearth Homes and their encouragement to do it on my own.

So you started in Seattle, were you drawn to the Spokane area for the program?

I was originally from Spokane, but when I violated my probation I asked my probation officer to send me to treatment as far away from the Spokane as possible to get me away from the life I was living. At that time I did not think I could actually change my life being in the same area where I caused all my wreckage.  I learned that you can’t run away from your problems and you have to face them eventually; so I made the decision to come back and face it. I felt like Hearth Homes was a good place to be because it gave me a safe environment to do that.

So tell me a little bit more about what it is like living at Hearth Homes?

It is very structured. You have a case manager who you meet with once a week. You have to be up and out of bed by 9, you have daily and weekly chores, family dinners at 6, house meetings, life skills classes and volunteer hours.  I really think that for me Hearth Homes was a Godsend. I needed it. Literally to a T Hearth Homes was exactly what I was looking for. It had the structure, the faith base, the rules and guidelines.

Were there any time that you didn’t want to be there?

I never really go to the point that I did not want to be there. I did struggle while I was there. Any time I felt like I couldn’t do it I had Angle or Jennifer to talk to. And I openly did. That was honestly one of the hardest things I learned to do through this recovery was learning to reach out and ask for help.

Asking for help is really hard. If you could tell somebody out there who is listening and connecting with what you’re saying what would you say to them?

The biggest thing I would say is to not be afraid to reach out.  Nobody can help you unless they know what is going on. Reaching out is not the easiest or most comfortable thing to do, but change isn’t comfortable. If you are comfortable you are not changing. That is my motto.  Be willing and be teachable. Because if you are closed up and not open to learning something new; you are not going to.

We have been talking about taking Decisions and seeing your life as a series of decisions instead of just as things that have happened to you. Could you explain what choice means to you?

Choice is accountability. I choose to change my life in a positive way. You can’t make changes without choice. I either choose to stay back in my old ways and my addiction or I choose to change and get out of it the best I can. For me every choice has a consequence; good or bad. I try to remember that when I face decisions in my life; do I want to have good consequences or bad?

I was wondering if you would be interested in talking about Faith? You both have mentioned that as part of Hearth Homes, and also at a personally level something that has a allowed you to be there for each other and an important factor in your own journey.

                       I have always believed in a God; but had never actually taken the step to commit my life to him. While I was at Hearth Homes we were given the chance to go to the Beth Moore conference. We were sitting there and they asked if anyone in the audience wanted to give their life to Christ. And I choose that moment, in front of all of those people, to go down to the stage and give my life to Christ. It was a big step for me. It was amazing. Especially for someone coming from my background. They don’t always feel like they can do that because they have caused so much wreckage or they have done so much in their past that they can never be forgiven. I feel like I have. And Hearth Homes was a big tool in that for me. I came in feeling welcomed from the get go and understood. That is a big thing for somebody from my past. They don’t ever place judgment or place blame. They are understanding and forgiving.

Anything else you would like to add?

 I would just say to someone who hasn’t experienced addiction or a criminal background to try not to be so quick to judge someone. Try to be more understanding. We are not all the same; there are a lot of us who are trying to change their life around. Being understood and being given a second chance at trying to change our life is one of the biggest things we could honestly ever receive.
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