Did you know that gratefulness is a key to success in addiction recovery? Family & Children’s Services board members discovered this first hand on November 15 during their board meeting held at Women in Recovery (WIR).
As I walked through the doors on the 2nd floor at 1055 South Houston, friendly smiles and warm hello’s filled the room. Around the corner from the kitchen, where WIR participants engage in culinary classes, the meeting room table awaited forty guests for lunch. The place settings were accented with fall arrangements of mums, sunflowers and glittery leaves. A little before noon, board members started filing in. Chatter filled the spaces.
At WIR, women who are facing prison time for non-violent, drug-related offenses are given a second chance. These women receive mental health treatment, education, workforce readiness training, family reunification services and much more. Mimi Tarrasch, the Executive Director for WIR, is dedicated to helping women realize their full potential and flourish in life after incarceration.
As the clock ticked towards one, WIR women filed into the room and took their seats at the board table. The room was silent as each woman spoke.
Each story started with a statement of addiction: 16 years, 35 years, 10 years.
Each story ended with a statement of gratitude: for WIR, for hope for Family & Children’s Services and for the board.
For one woman, WIR gave her the skills to reevaluate her relationships and rid herself of toxic ones. WIR helped her realize the value of her life. She is now fighting for a future with her daughter.
For another women, classes offered at WIR keep her grounded. WIR gave her back her life. She has maintained a steady job throughout her time at WIR and while cooking with the chef, she discovered her love for baking. She vowed that one day she will open up a bakery of her own.
The gratitude continued as the women expressed how grateful they were for the opportunity and coping mechanisms to heal and recover. The room was silent as board members looked upon the speakers with understanding.
After all the women were finished speaking, a board member spoke, “We are grateful for you. WIR is an incredible program, and from the start was easy to support; but being able to meet and understand some of the women helps me more deeply understand the impact we, the board have on the lives of the women that participate in this program.”
Gratitude has many faces. Today it was the faces of women given a second chance.
Note from the author: When I started reading about Women in Recovery I was hooked; but when I was able to actually see for myself and hear the women tell their personal stories, it was at that moment that I became truly invested. These women are here because they want to grow and make a better life for themselves and their loved ones. One thing to keep in mind this season is that a grateful heart is a magnet for miracles. To learn more visit www.fcsok.org.