Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Road To The Beginning

I looked around the apartment to make sure that I got all of the last belongings out. I needed to make sure that everything was cleared out, because once I turned in the keys, that was it. There would be no turning back. There would be no way to retrieve any of my stuff. I had a heck of a journey on the bus to get back to the Salvation Army downtown. I had already been there a day or two, and the last thing that I was looking forward to, was walking down the block to get to my bunk bed. I didn't want to go back to the cramped feeling of laying on top of all of the other women, and their kids. I especially didn't want to get back to that filthy bathroom. I wanted to feel and smell a clean environment one more time. I laid down on my clean carpet in the apartment.

All of a sudden, the weight of my situation hit me like a ton of bricks. The sound of my crying came up from the pit of my stomach. I let out a huge wail, and the tears burst forth from a crack in my spiritual dam. I lay on my stomach, wailing, flailing, and beating the floor. Why was this happening to me? And, how in the world could I possibly manage what I knew I had no choice but to live through? After about 20 minutes, I picked myself up, and then I locked the front door. I walked across the street to the manager's office. I took my house keys off of my keyring, and turned them into the night drop box. For the first time that I could remember, I had no house keys on my keyring. It was finished. I was officially homeless. - November 2008

This is a recollection of the beginning of my 18 month journey in which I was displaced on a hard-core level. I had always had people to let me stay with them, and to otherwise help me out. But this time, I was on my own. You know, it's amazing the things that you take for granted as being part of your everyday life, until you lose them. Your house keys really become precious metal. You realize that you don't have a phone number to call your own. You find yourself in a Catch-22 situation: You have no way to be reached to obtain services to better yourself, and you can't better yourself without a method of contact. But more than this, you have no idea what it feels like to not even have the dignity of having something so basic as a phone number, but you do know the shame of feeling utterly helpless. This is why it was so meaningful to me to obtain a phone number from a local charitable organization that worked with Community Voice Mail. I first received my Community Voice Mail number two years ago. I still have it, and it has been the one constant in my journey back to independent living.

My name is Terrah, and I will be sharing with you ways that my Community Voice Mail phone number has helped me, and I will be sharing tips on how it could help you as well. It might seem like a small thing, but having a phone number gives hope, and that hope can be the seed for so much growth in your life recovery. I hope you continue to read my post, and I wish you well in your journey. These lilies represent the fact that within the seeds of one form of life, rises the beauty of a new form of life.

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