Looking back, she sees her life of addiction through sober eyes.

“I wasn’t living. I was killing myself everyday, but I thought I was having a good time.“

That’s how Davetta describes the 10+ years she smoked crack cocaine. She was unaware of her addiction, and oblivious to how it was impacting those she loved the most.

It was broken family relationships that finally got her attention. She tried inpatient rehab, but admittedly wasn’t ready to get clean.

“I thought I was, but I was still fighting it. I didn’t want to follow their rules.”

Her crack cocaine addiction continued for another 6 or 7 more years.

She was able to overcome that addiction, but replaced it with another one: alcohol.

“Every night I drank a pint of vodka. On my days off, I drank all day long. And when I had my stroke, it all came full circle.”

The addiction had taken its toll on her body. Eight days after her 50th birthday, she had a stroke.

“I was asleep, and it woke me up. My whole left side was numb. I knew what was going on, so I called 911. That was the last thing I remember. It happened on a Sunday, and I woke up on Monday at St. Luke’s Hospital. Two months later, I finally went home.”

A medical emergency, which could have taken her life, actually saved it. Davetta considers her stroke a blessing. Yes, it left her with challenges, but it also freed her from addiction and launched her into a life full of positive change.

“I stopped drinking. I stopped smoking. I changed my eating habits. It’s what I had to do in order to live.”

Davetta is making great strides in recovery and healing, but she’s not overcoming these challenges without help. She relies on her immediate family for support, as well as new-found support at Heartland.

“The Staff at Heartland Center are Godsends. They work well together. Between the two of them, it gets done.“
She first learned of Heartland’s disease management services about 6 months ago, when they sent her a letter in the mail.
“I needed physical therapy, but I couldn’t afford it. The letter mentioned something about therapy and gave a number to call, so I did. I met with Judith and shared my goals. She helped me find therapy that Medicaid would pay for.”

Even though Davetta hasn’t been connected to Heartland for that long, they are already playing a significant role in her recovery.
She attends recovery groups at Heartland weekly. She enjoys going and misses it when she’s not there.

“I go because I want to, not because I have to. I learn from them, and they help me stay clean. They inspire me to keep going in a positive direction.”

Her goals include going back to work and starting a stroke support group at her church, but she knows she needs to take it slow.

“When I hurry, things go wrong. I know I need to take a next step, but I don’t want to do it away from Heartland.”

Whatever that step is, there is no doubt it will lead to positive change. Davetta’s life has gone from overwhelming to overflowing, and she knows it.

“I don’t ever want to go back to living the life I used to live.
The life I have now…I love it! It’s wonderful. It’s beautiful.”</>