Alexandra (Alex) L. – 2017 P.E.A.S.E. graduate

High school graduation was never in the picture for me because I didn’t think I would live that long.

I used substances from marijuana to pills and alcohol and struggled with addiction and self-harm, with no hope for my future.  I was admitted to the dual diagnosis floor at Fairview Riverside in April of 2015. While at a 12-step meeting, I met someone from P.E.A.S.E. With no transportation from the Western suburbs, it wasn’t possible for me to attend.

Following in-patient treatment, I re-entered my old high school and relapsed within the first two weeks. At this point, my parents found transportation to P.E.A.S.E.

I found familiar people at P.E.A.S.E., so it was easy to integrate. There were people from all back grounds who look different and came from different places, but we were all high school kids with addiction issues. We were there to get an education and continue our lives after this hurdle of addiction.

Teachers wanted to help me instead of sending me to the principal. It’s not just a paycheck for them. They care. My hardest teacher ended up being my favorite. He pushed back and wouldn’t take my crap. When I wanted to give up, no one at P.E.A.S.E. would let me.

I cried really hard at graduation for what I had accomplished and with gratitude for what I  had achieved. High school graduation was never in the picture for me because I didn’t think I would live, so when I got to PEASE, I started assessing my future. I wanted a job that didn’t feel like work every day and I wanted to help another living beings in unfortunate situations. I’m now attending MCTC with a focus on veterinary technology. I ant to get Vet Tech degree and become an exotic animal special, working all over the world.

Basic text within Narcotics Anonymous states, “Lost dreams awaken, and new possibilities arise.” This is P.E.A.S.E. When I wanted to give up. They never let me.