Three years ago Paula lost her husband to lung-cancer. He was the love of her life. She found him unconscious and dying one morning. She tried to resuscitate him but he died in front of her. The image of his death was burned in her mind and affected everything , “I lost my mind, I lost everything, he was my soul-mate.” They did everything together including drinking alcohol together. She didn’t think it was a problem for either of them. But after her husband died, Paula started to drink from the time she woke up until she passed out a night. In time she drank away all of her money and eventually lost her home. Some friends were kind enough to take her in for a few days but after a while they asked her to leave.
In December, Paula had lost everything, she had nowhere to go and was living and sleeping in her car. One morning when she woke up she was so cold and she prayed for God’s help. She asked God to help her stop drinking and for a way to get off the street.
God heard her prayer and things started to change for Paula. She was taken to the hospital and from there went into a rehab. In the rehab she met with counselors and starting attending AA meetings. One of her counselors told her about City Mission’s AVIS Arbor Women’s Shelter. Paula had never heard of the program but was ready and willing to come. She’s been at Avis Arbor just two weeks now.
She says, “I didn’t think I had a problem, but I was so broken.”
In the short time she’s been clean and sober she’s already thinking more clearly about her situation. She says, “I care about today and what happens tomorrow. I want to get better and then get my own place.
Paula is doing all she can to get better and learn to live without alcohol. She attends and participates in all of the classes and groups that are available to her. One of her goals is to study and take the exam to get a G.E.D., something she’s wanted to do for a very long time. She can do that in the Career Center at the mission. She’s also attending church services at the mission. She said she remembers a neighbor taking her to church when she was a very young girl but hasn’t been since then. She continues to meet with a counselor and talk about her losses and work through her grief.
Paula says, “I don’t know where I’d be without Avis Arbor Women’s Shelter.”
She lost the love of her life but the love of God that she feels at City Mission is helping her to heal, one day at a time.