As women we spend so much time taking care of others. We make sure our children are fed, bathed, entertained, comforted and educated (yes, school has become our job now too with the pandemic). Many of us have full time jobs, friends who need us, spouses who rely on us and extended family members who look to us for support. And sometimes it’s easier to take care of others than to focus on ourselves. But what happens when we don’t practice self-care? We simply cannot be the best mother, sister, wife, friend or employee that we could be.
We all know that substance use disorder doesn’t discriminate. While data shows more men seek treatment for addiction than women, it doesn’t mean women aren’t equally struggling. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSA), several factors prevent women from seeking treatment. The number one barrier is self. She does not feel she needs help. Other common barriers include cost, feelings of shame and guilt and family responsibilities.
“There is a fear of, ‘How am I going to parent when I leave here?’ The stress of working and taking care of children can be overwhelming. There is fear. Women wonder, ‘How am I going to handle all of that?'” said Cumberland Heights Women’s Program Director Melissa Hudgens.
Melissa says many of the counselors in the Women’s Program are in recovery themselves and have experienced those same feelings.
“Our staff members know how difficult the work is, and they make sure the women feel as safe and as comfortable as possible from the time they walk through the door. Women who come to Cumberland Heights for treatment are going to meet other women in recovery who really build them up and support them through some of the most difficult experiences in their lives. It’s not just a treatment experience. It’s about lifelong relationships with healthy women who really understand what they are going through. It’s beautiful. It’s really beautiful,” said Melissa.
We know addiction thrives in isolation. Recovery thrives in community. Treatment at Cumberland Heights allows women to heal together. Instead of covering up feelings of shame and guilt with alcohol and drugs, women give life to uncomfortable emotions. And it’s truly freeing.
“By sharing their stories with others, it doesn’t feel as heavy. They can walk through that and see they are not a horrible human being. It is something that happened from their disease, but it’s not who they are as an individual. In letting go of some of that that there is a path of peace and redemption in creating a story of recovery from there forward,” said Melissa.
If you, or a woman you know is struggling please reach out to Cumberland Heights today at 800-646-9998. There has never been a better time to seek help and begin a path toward lifelong recovery.