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"It's never too late to change"

Annetta: "All I ever wanted was for someone to love me."

At one point, Annetta told a judge she would choose being in jail over being at home.


“It was easier for me to be in jail. In jail, I was able to be who I am for me. On the streets, I was a different person. I was in an abusive relationship when I was home. In jail, I was safe. I called jail my safe haven,” she said.


Annetta was in jail when she first heard about the Bert Nash Center. She has been receiving services off and on for the past 20 years. She also was in and out of jail for 20 plus years.


“Bert Nash was very helpful, if I utilized their services,” she said.


Annetta was in an explosive relationship for years. It wasn’t easy, but through her faith she said she was able to forgive.


“All I ever wanted was for someone to love me,” she said.


She and her former partner haven’t been in a relationship for 25 years. They both became clean and sober and are now best friends, she said.


It was through her case managers with the Transitions Housing Team at the Bert Nash Center that she was able to get housed and get a fresh start.


For four months, Annetta was a resident at Transitions, a Bert Nash Center transitional group housing facility.


“I loved it,” Annetta said of her time living at Transitions.


Transitions is a 12-bed facility, located on the Treatment and Recovery Campus of Douglas County, across from the Bert Nash Center. Transitions is staffed 24/7 and provides support services to those recovering from behavioral health issues and help its residents transition back to living independently.


“The classes that they gave at Transitions were really good and helped me with my sobriety,” Annetta said. “I really liked the staff there. The staff was engaged with each individual and whatever their needs are.”


Annetta now has her own place and works closely with her ACT (Assertive Community Treatment) Team, which includes ACT therapist Carleen.


“We work as a team,” Carleen said.


Annetta said the ACT team and her ACT therapist Carleen are responsive if she needs help with something, from transportation to and from appointments to filling out paperwork.


“Whatever I need, the ACT team is very helpful,” Annetta said. “And Carleen looks at me as a real person. She treats me as a human being, that’s what everybody wants.”


“I appreciate you saying that. That touches my heart,” Carleen said. “We want to help you be the best you.”


Annetta said she was 35 when she told her family about what was really going on in her life. She had been using cocaine to numb the pain. She became addicted, she lost jobs, she was on the streets selling and using cocaine, and she would sometimes stay in drug houses.


“If it wasn’t for God, I would have given up a long time ago. And my children, I had to live for them,” Annetta said.


For years, Annetta hid what was going on at home and in our life. She’s not hiding anymore.


“My life is an open book now. I’m not hiding anything anymore or portraying myself as someone I’m not,” she said.


Even though she has had two strokes, Annetta’s health is improving and she’s happy.


“I’m doing excellent,” she said.


Annetta would love to help others and talks about becoming an addiction counselor.


“I want to let them know that they are not alone, that they are worth it. There are people who have been through the same thing or worse,” she said. “I didn’t think I was worthy, but now I feel differently.”


Annetta, 57, has another message for people who may be struggling.


“It’s never too late to change,” she said.



















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