Rea of Hope


I am twenty five years old from Wheeling, WV. At a very young age I knew my life was going to be somewhat difficult compared to those of my friends. Both of my parents suffer from the disease of addiction/alcoholism; the weight of a child was too much to bear. A wonderful woman started taking care of and raising me from the age of eight, today I call her Grandma. My grandmother made sure I had everything I needed plus so much more. I spent a lot of life in very uncomfortable situations my parents had put me in, I thought drinking and being in a different state of mind was "normal." Today I gratefully know that is not true. I vowed at a very young age to never touch drugs or alcohol because I didn't want to be anything like my parents. As it turns out, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. As a high school student, I did very well academically, graduated at the age of seventeen and entered WVU as a seventeen year old sophomore. Somewhere along the line I had lost sight of the promise I made to myself to remain abstinent from drugs and alcohol. As soon as I moved to Morgantown I thought I had met the man of my dreams. He was a weekend drinker, an everyday marijuana user, and a recreational user of LSD. I was introduced to an entire new world and that is what I truly fell in love with. Two weeks into my first semester at WVU I was very extremely intoxicated at a frat party and broke every bone in my left leg. In one night my life took a very drastic turn. I was prescribed pain killers and needless to say I enjoyed abusing them. My disease progressed very quickly. Within six months I was buying very strong pain medication from street dealers that only cancer patients are prescribed. From that first one, there was never any going back. I used every single day from September '07 until December '12. For the first few years I was able to maintain my habit and my responsibilities as an adult. Surely enough it came to an end. In 2011 I had hit a bottom. I was stealing from the ones who I loved, robbing my place of employment and weighing 95 pounds. My entire existence was centered on using drugs and finding way and means to get more, not caring who I had to hurt in order to do so. This disease has taken me to very low places. I remember feeling like I didn't stand a chance, I was going to be a junky forever, and I prayed and prayed to die because I couldn't take the pain of the way I was living any longer. Stopping was not an option. I was arrested in November 2011 on two felony charges. I spend a few weeks in jail until my grandmother who had no idea that I was in any kind of trouble, decided to bond me out on one condition; that I moved back home and get my life in order. It sounded like a good idea at the time. But I hadn't felt enough pain at that point in time to make any real changes. I stayed clean for forty seven days, and I was back out there. I had pawned by grandmothers wedding set, started using IV; I was living in abandoned houses, and doing whatever it took to continue getting high. In June 2012 I was sentenced to inpatient rehab followed by two years of probation but I didn't feel like going because that meant I would have to get clean. From June to December I was on a suicide mission, trying to stay as high as possible because it was coming to an end. My decisions were either to get clean or to go to prison, either way I would have to get clean. I went to rehab on December 21, 2012. The withdraw symptoms were intense, I remained violently ill for the first eleven days I was in treatment, but somehow I pulled through. This is where it gets a little confusing for me. I wish I could tell you what exactly happened, but I cannot, only because I don't actually know. Something changed. I call it a GOD thing. Finally the pain of staying the same was greater than the pain of changing. For the first time in over six years, I didn't want to do drugs anymore but I didn't know how to stop. This realization hit me around 2 am about two and a half weeks into treatment. The very next morning I went to my therapist and begged to be sent to long term treatment. I came to Rea of Hope on January 31, 2013. I was only out of treatment for two weeks before I was able to get into the Rea. This was the first miracle being clean had to offer. Being at the Rea has taught me how to be sober, positive, responsible, find structure, and most importantly how to love myself and other women. I graduated on July 31, 2013 and moved into the apartments. Over the course of the past months I have turned into a woman I never thought I could be. I have two full time jobs, the Rea of Hope being one of them. I have paid off one student loan, two credit cards, paid all fines to get my license back, and I have rebuilt the relationship with my grandmother. I had one year clean on December 20, 2013 only because of Rea of Hope and the loving women who have showed me the way. I, as so many others, wouldn't be alive today without the miracles this place has to offer.


 I started using at the age of 13; at first only on weekends but it soon became a way of life. I would lie and cheat to get money and if I found any pills anywhere I would steal them. I hated the person I had become. My mother forced me into detox 3 times and I would stay clean for a while but end up hanging out with my friends and relapse. Finally I had enough and realized in order to stay clean I had to change everything. Rea of Hope taught me to balance work, AA meetings and being self-sufficient. My confidence came back and life is so much better today. I have been sober for 1 year and 3 months and will be forever grateful to the Rea of Hope.


The original Rea of Hope house is located on Lee Street in Charleston. The house is staffed 24 hours a day to insure a supportive and safe environment. Our residents are required to work, attend school, or volunteer at an approved location.

Rea of Hope II is just around the corner fron the original house. Together, both houses accomodate 14 beds. A resident of Rea of Hope will focus on their recovery in a 12 step-based fellowship program while establishing themselves as responsible members of our community..

As graduates, the women already have a support system in place, employment and connection to the community. We will work with the women to get their credit, fines and other financial and legal problems solved.

The goals of the Rea of Hope New Life Apartments are to provide an affordable beginning for these women; avoiding the stumbling blocks to a successful recovery.

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