Lisa has a unique relationship with Pathway Society, where she visits to encourage and support other women who have and who are struggling with the effects of addiction on their lives. As a mother whose child was taken from her in the past, Lisa can relate to women who may be in the same position and who are just beginning their journey to change their lives and become responsible parents once again. Now reunited with her daughter, Lisa is a role-model for parents at Pathway who may feel they have lost their children for good.
Lisa views her role as a way to promote hope and show that you can regain your life despite a past with addiction. When Lisa lost custody of her 6 year-old daughter, she instantly felt a “hopelessness of just wanting to get clean.” Lisa explains that “I didn’t want my daughter to grow up and ask why I didn’t fight for her.” It took about a year for Lisa to truly follow the path of recovery, who says she kept drinking because it was a struggle. Clean for 15 years this July, Lisa says that “I know you’re supposed to do this [get clean] for yourself- but I did it because of my daughter.” To show how far the two have come in their relationship, Lisa explains that when her daughter, then 20, was pregnant she wrote Lisa a “love letter to tell me she was going to be a good parent because of how I am.” Lisa now has positive and loving relationships with her daughter, her 10 year-old son, and her baby granddaughter.
Lisa says that, in her experience, the majority of women starting recovery have lost their kids. Lisa understands the feelings of “desperation” that these mothers feel, and says that when she lost custody of her child she “wanted to die, kill myself, because I didn’t have my baby.” The memory of these feelings helps Lisa relate to mothers currently in positions similar, and makes her passionate about helping parents regain control and order in their lives so they can be reunited with their children. These parents “prefer to talk to me because I’ve been in their shoes,” Lisa explains, and she does all she can to help them because “someone held my hand” and helped me.” Lisa’s dedication to supporting the clients of Pathway Society, Inc. by attending meetings, giving talks, and showing clients in recovery what is possible when you get clean, is truly inspirational.