Since 2017, it's been the same pattern for me: Get high, get locked up, get out, get high, get locked up. The same thing over and over. Isn’t that the definition of insanity? Yea, INSANITY.
That is how I was living until December of 2021. I was locked up in RSW Regional Jail, standing in front of the judge again, and he decided for the first time ever to give me, a repeat offender, a second chance. He allowed me to go to Alexandria to a recovery house, which then introduced me to a program that ended up making a huge impact on my mind, heart, soul, and definitely my life.
Together We Bake is run by a group of wonderful women: Stephanie, Tricia, Liz, Hanna, Kenzie, Lucy, Colida, Teresa, and Reina, who instantly made me feel at home and comfortable as soon as I met them.
This program is so empowering. It builds you up, [and] it’s a safe place, meaning everything that is said in our circle stays in our circle. I have always had a hard time trusting women, but Together We Bake changed that for me. We also bake everything [ourselves], handmade with Tricia and Stephanie’s recipes. We make chocolate chip cookies (YUM), granola, and trail mix. We also make other foods when the guest bakers come in.
I can’t say there is just one lady at Together We Bake that has inspired me. They all have. I never really shared deep, personal stuff in the morning meetings but each one of the staff members got a little personal piece of me, and I believe that is because I’ve seen something in them that was also part of me.
Liz was the first one I opened up to. She was always my go-to. Teresa was next. She and Colida were there for me when I had a huge emotional breakdown about a health issue. Hanna was always my “homie;" I can trust her with my soul. Kenzie and I [also] became close; I connected with her, and it felt like a sister connection, like a breath of fresh air. I know all of these women will be here for me when I need them. I truly love and respect them all.
Together We Bake is hands down the best thing that has happened to me in a long time. I needed this program, but most of all I needed these women and the love and empowerment. I would and I do highly recommend this program to every woman who needs a boost in life, who is struggling, who has an addiction, [or] who just can’t see the light. [I recommend this program] to any woman who just needs the empowerment or a safe place to go to live, love, laugh, learn self-worth and self love, and – most of all – gain trust.
To all the ladies at Together We Bake, thank you for changing my life. You are all amazing, beautiful, and perfect. Thank you for showing me my worth and finding my light. I will never forget any of you ladies! You all are forever in my heart.
*Note: This transcript has been edited for clarity.
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