SAGE gave me my life back

Renee used to hate court rooms. Up until a few years ago, the legal system lead to fear and anxiety for her. These days, she spends many hours at court, working alongside colleagues who used to be part of those negative experiences of her past. Renee’s journey to where she is today was a long one, filled with trauma and violence, resulting in a subsequent substance use disorder. She would go to mental health clinics and other organizations, pleading for coping skills and healthy ways to deal with her trauma, only to be given medications that did not work for her.

During her time at Perryville, she knew she was ready for significant changes, and hoped this was the final time she would be and feel imprisoned. She began studying, and utilizing all available programs. She began getting letters from her children, solidifying her hope and resolve. Renee felt she could see a light at the end of the tunnel, and knew she could get her life, and her family, back.

Assorted Tools Photo by Dan Cristian Pădureț on Unsplash

Once released on a senate bill early release, Renee was unsure of how to navigate all of the emotions that came with being on the outside, with navigating all that she hoped and wanted. Renee feels that SAGE Counseling changed that for her. She said she was able to learn tools and knowledge that for the first time, actually helped her. She not only learned coping skills that she actually was able to use, but that it was part of her journey to find joy in her life, and to discover self-love.

Renee now works as a peer-support specialist and navigator, helping others on the path to recovery and stability. Renee connects with other women who are abuse and trafficking survivors, and is able to share the message that there is hope, there is a future. It is important to her that others know that good people make bad mistakes. She continues to work on herself, and has remained in counseling. She returns to courts where she recognizes her past life in others. And after work, she gets to return to her own home. She just paid off her first car. She is happy and secure in knowing that she is able to be a role model to her children, to be able to help others, and to give them a hand up.

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