Meet Jenn – Running towards her goals
When COVID-19 hit, many of us saw a struggle to adapt to the new way of life. The new way of life being that we were limited to our social interactions and limited how we could access the resources that were so imperative to some of our day-to-day lives.
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with HOPE House community member Jenn, and discuss how COVID-19 has affected her, and had the opportunity to learn how HOPE House has supported her during these trying times.
When asked how COVID affected her personally, Jenn opened up talking about mental health struggles – such as depression, past trauma, and anxiety. As a recovering addict, and as someone who was born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Jenn is no stranger to having to walk up-hill daily with her struggles – however, with the recent pandemic things could have gotten worse.
As Jenn explained, 2/3 weeks into the pandemic, everything spiked up. All those emotions that she was managing, seemed to bubble up to the surface.
When the pandemic hit, she was already struggling – while silently; because as she said “as a functional addict, you are still in pain. People may not see the pain, but it’s always there,” – between 2018/2019 she had dealt with 20 deaths from those around her, and she felt in a sense, her life was in shambles.
Due to all these underlying factors, the unknown of what was to come, it was a scary situation. Without a steady income (due to her workplace shutting down for COVID,) she had to find something else to occupy her time- in a productive way. As a result, Jenn began working casually at HOPE House, and also volunteering. By doing this, she was able to be held accountable and it gave her a sense of semblance. A key part of being a recovering addict is having a routine and maintaining that routine. It keeps her mind and hands busy and allows her to be a productive member of society once again.
When I asked Jenn how HOPE House has helped her, she let me know that we gave her goals, and allowed her to maintain a routine – which is so important to her.
Through the resources and connections at HOPE House, Jenn has begun to design a marathon – see link below for our last chat with Jenn, where she talks about her passion for running, and her goals. Her goal is to have the route heart shaped. Her goal is to bring people together, and it’s all about the bold statement of being a community and really coming together – something that we all need to do right now and continue to do after this pandemic. If we can bring them together, we can “grab” each other’s hands and lift each up.
Running has become her way of battling some of her demons, and she wants to be able to help others do the same. In her words “it’s hard to fight depression, anxiety and trauma. Things come back and bite you. The demon from addiction comes back.” HOPE House has been a support for Jenn through her struggles, not just with the programs/services, but also as a community for her.
In closing, when I asked Jenn if she could say one thing about HOPE House to the rest of the community, this is what she had to say;
“It doesn’t matter who you are, you’re welcome. HOPE House is a community. We help each other out, and they help with getting people back up – and building people up.”