Campus of Change

Ending Homelessness in the Fox Valley

A Purpose-Filled Life

Posted on Sep 21, 2015 by

Written by a resident of COTS’ Women’s Program

I came to live at COTS after being in treatment for my alcoholism.  I knew that I couldn’t return to my old surroundings, so I made the decision to separate myself from my grown children and recreate myself.  Due to my disease, I knew that living alone was not an option.  After researching many avenues that offered a structured community living environment, COTS offered the ultimate opportunities for my success.

I have lived at COTS since October of 2013.  When I first walked through the door my intentions were to only stay one year but I have benefited so much from this program that I decided to stay the entire two years.  I will walk out this door with all the tools necessary to live a very productive, successful, happy and sober life!

The benefits of this program are immense!  I am an older middle aged person and thought that I knew enough to live a productive life.  In hindsight, I only had the mindset to get by, but now I have the skills to succeed!  This program addresses every aspect of life.  My personal experience is one of pure gratitude. I have learned to budget and save money effectively.  I actually have a savings account for the first time in my adult life.  I overcame codependency issues through meetings with my case manager, resources offered by COTS and living with others that can relate to my past experiences.  I learned what is required to transition into an apartment and what the monetary expectations are to move.  I learn something new every day.  May it be in general conversation with another resident or in casual conversation with my Case Manager or other members of the staff.  Through my hard work, dedication, setting healthy boundaries and being receptive to feedback from a well-educated staff, I will be able to apply all that I have learned to my future after the COTS program.

One of my biggest accomplishments since being part of the COTS program is my 2 plus years of sobriety!  One of the rewards from this feat is that I am gainfully employed and have made retirement provisions with a retirement account.  Along with this, I have insurance benefits and will not be at the aid of the State or County.  For me, this translates into being a great member of society and having a purpose filled life.

My plans for the future are bigger and brighter than I ever thought to be imaginable. I know for a fact that when I move into my own apartment that I am armed with all the tools for success.  I will continue my full time career until retirement.  Within the next 4-6 months I would like to visit my elderly parents before they become my Angels.  I have a five year goal to take a cruise and to continue to save money to do some traveling.  And at my age, I have a “bucket list” that I will be checking off.