As part of Cedar House Life Change Center’s medical team, Yolanda witnesses lives being transformed with proven methods every day. It is especially meaningful since she's been through her own transformation.
Yolanda experimented with meth during high school, and was instantly addicted to the energy she felt. What she didn’t realize was the cycle of destruction she was beginning that day. Year after year and CFS case after case, Yolanda found herself returning to the patterns of her addiction.
“I would have an excuse every time to try and justify the matter.”
As a mother of three, she entered a rehab program and stayed sober for seven years. (Reflecting back on that program, Yolanda felt it was robotic and didn’t address the deeply-rooted causes of her addiction.) Unfortunately, the unfaithful, violent relationship she was in ultimately led to a divorce and back to a life of drugs. When CFS learned that she had returned to her old habits, her children were taken into their custody.
Substance abuse led to more crime, and Yolanda was placed in jail for three months. By the time she was released, she was five months pregnant but found herself using drugs even more. She knew she had hit rock bottom and decided to seek help.
“I was on CFS case number three with my daughter being born having withdrawals to meth… walking around the city homeless… lost and broken with my children in CFS custody about to get adopted out.”
She went to Cedar House when she was eight months pregnant.
“I learned so much. It is truly a life change center.”
After a month in the program, she had her daughter and moved over to Maple House for six months.
“I established my relationship with the Lord while I was at Maple House. Then everything started falling into place.”
Yolanda knew that her ex was still heavily into drugs and couldn’t bear the idea of her daughter continuing to live in that environment. She filed an appeal to earn custody. She knew in her heart that it was the right thing to do and felt strongly that there was a reason why she had survived all that she had been through.
“God has big plans for me.”
Because of the custody battle’s complexities, the judge called a recess overnight. Thankfully, the principles Yolanda learned at Cedar House helped her through that challenging wait.
“What I learned here (at Cedar House) that helped me the most was acceptance. A peace came over me that night.”
The next morning Yolanda returned to court and learned that she had won custody of her daughter. In July 2014, she graduated from Cedar House and went to sober living in Riverside. Now, she reminds herself daily:
“Whatever I go through, my sobriety comes first.”
Yolanda returned to Maple House as an employee two years after graduating. After a year she was promoted to the Medication Room and continues as a med clerk to this day. She is grateful to be able to give back to the program that saved her life and brought her family together.
“It’s amazing to be able to witness the lives being transformed here at Cedar House.”
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