Written by: Blu Honeycutt, our Peer Support Specialist
It has been a little over year since I got certified as a Peer Support Specialist. I’d like to think that I’ve been able to help some people within this time. I’ve sat with many people through the darkest moments and been able to celebrate with them during their wins.
My first client was young woman named Candi. She and I had known each other from the Healing Transitions, and from being homeless on the streets together. Her mother had passed away and she hadn’t seen her kids in quite a while. She had been carrying around her mother’s ashes, but finally decided to let us hold them for her at the center so nothing would happen to them while she was roofless.
She came to the office one day and said that it was her mother’s birthday, and she wanted to get her mother’s ashes so she could spend some time with her. She took the ashes and made her way down the hall. I gave it about 10 minutes, went to go find her and didn’t see her in the building.
I stepped out the door and saw her lying in the parking lot, with her mother’s ashes in front of her. She was crying harder than I have ever seen someone cry. I knew there was nothing I could say to her to comfort her. So I just laid down in the parking lot with her. I didn’t say a word. I just laid there with her. And that is what we do, we sit in the dark with people when they need us.
I eventually convinced her to get up off the ground, and that we could do something today to change the outcome of tomorrow. She had been fighting with her addiction for a while and I told her I would stand by her to help her do whatever she wanted to do to get clean. We started by getting her to Wakebrook.
While she was there I got phone calls from her every day, and I encouraged her to find a place for treatment before she left there. She wanted to get out of Raleigh because she needed a real change. 2 days before she was to be discharged from Wakebrook, she had decided where she wanted to go. She found a place in Florida that had beds available. She got in contact with the lady that was caring for her kids and let her know what was going on.
The day she was discharged I met her at the Greyhound Station. She was nervous, excited, scared and sad all in one. I was just simply proud. She was making big changes. I hugged her a million times and squeezed as hard as I could. I told her to get there, settled and we would mail her mother’s ashes to her. I stood inside and watched her walk out the door towards the buses. She was standing with her children’s guardian talking to her and I was thinking to myself, “She’s good. You can go ahead and go.” But the second I was about to walk away, she turned and looked over her shoulder and waved at me one last time and blew me a kiss. I had stayed just long enough.
She contacted me a when she got there and was overjoyed with everything. She asked us to go ahead and send her mother’s ashes so we got them safely packed up and mailed to her. Then I lost track of her for a few months.
As I was scrolling thru Facebook one day I came across her profile. I was beaming! She looked so good! So healthy!!! She was not the same Candi that gotten on that bus. I friend requested her and have stayed in contact with her ever since. She’s been through ups and downs but still holds strong. That’s what I love about her.
March 13th made a year clean for her! I couldn’t be more proud of her. Every time I gave her a suggestion she went for it. Head first. She doesn’t give up and she works really hard every day. Just knowing that I was able to help her along this journey, and to see all the wonderful things she has done, tells me that I’m doing something right.
Love Always Wins!