MiYawn came to House of Hope with a 20-year history of drug and alcohol use. The daughter of a single mom, she’d had a fairly normal childhood and adolescence. Her drug use did not begin until she was in college when she fell in with the wrong crowd.
She soon dropped out of college. In the beginning it was glamorous with the clubbing and celebrity parties, but her drug and alcohol use increased until 2003 when she ended up homeless. In 2008 she was diagnosed as bi-polar. She bounced around skid row and spent brief periods sober or in rehabs in different areas of Los Angeles, always turning back to the drugs.
A counselor at a mental health facility on skid row recommended an inpatient program in San Pedro. MiYawn recalled liking San Pedro from an earlier time in rehab there, and followed his advice.
Upon completing that inpatient program, she transitioned to the outpatient program at House of Hope. Today with 16 months of sobriety under her belt and residing in HOH’s independent living, MiYawn is a different woman. Through out-patient classes, especially “Self Esteem” and “Awareness and Relapse Prevention,” she has learned what her triggers are and how to handle them. Through EMDR she has gained a better understanding of the traumas in her earlier life, particularly her father’s abandonment of her when she was born. The warm and loving environment at the House and knowing that she is never treated “as just a number there” have helped MiYawn pull out of the depression which had dogged her for years. She now has a relationship with her birth father and has continued to maintain a good relationship with her mom and brother. Eventually she wants to become a peer advocate through SHARE (Self-Help and Recovery Exchange). In January she will be starting their certificate program.
You may be wondering how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected clients at House of Hope. For MiYawn, it has brought minor difficulties to her program in that she can’t go to live meetings, but Zoom has also introduced her to meetings she would not have otherwise attended. In fact, it seems to MiYawn that the program at House of Hope is just as strong, if not stronger, than it has always been.