A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Meet Gabi Vlasak: one of our recent CORE graduates. Her commencement ceremony was just last Sunday on June 24th, and we are so proud of everything she has accomplished!
Gabi is 22 years old and originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Her struggle with addiction started when she was just 15 years old.
“I always felt really alone, and I found relief in drugs and alcohol. They were my escape from reality,” said Gabi.
Gabi continued to use drugs as an escape over the years until it eventually began to take over every part of her life.
“I lost everything,” said Gabi, “my family wanted nothing to do with me; I was at rock bottom and I really just felt like I had nothing left to live for.”
Gabi went to a 30-day rehab facility, but said that she never really thought she would stop using. While she was there, she found out about CORE and decided to give it a try.
“I figured I had nothing to lose by coming here,” said Gabi, “ I chose to come but I didn’t necessarily want to be here at the time.”
Gabi says that she felt extremely overwhelmed when she first arrived at CORE.
“I found a lot of things here that I never thought I could have. The relationships and support here were just really incredible. I saw everything they had to offer and I realized it would be naïve of me not to take advantage of it and try to better myself,” said Gabi.
Gabi said that she has learned so much from CORE, about herself and about interacting with others.
“It’s taught me who I am, why I am the way that I am, how to work through everyday problems, how to open up to people and be honest about my feelings, and how to accept myself and those around me,” said Gabi.
Gabi said that she has always been a really private person and she found it difficult to open up to others, so coming into the CORE housing was a completely new experience for her.
“It was a little weird at first because we were all so close together all the time, but after a while I realized we were close for a reason,” said Gabi, “There was no hiding my feelings or shutting everyone out anymore. You have to talk to each other and that was good for me.”
Gabi said that since coming to CORE she has more opportunities, her life is stable, and she’s even been able to rebuild the relationships with her family again.
“I honestly never thought that I could stay sober for this long, or that I would find such joy and peace,” said Gabi.
Gabi said she is so glad that she made the decision to come to CORE, and she has a message for those who might be afraid to do the same:
“Just give it a try; you have nothing to lose. There is a way out, a way to live and be happy and have peace of mind. Getting connected and talking to people who have been through the same things you have is so important. You are not alone in this.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, and we encourage anyone who is considering CORE to take that step. We are ready to help anyone who is ready to help themselves.
WHAT IS COMMENCEMENT?
Our Commencement ceremonies happen once a month and they are BIG DEAL here. It’s a time for clients to get together with their friends and family and celebrate one whole year of sobriety and completing the CORE Common Solution Recovery Program. Clients get to walk across the stage and receive a plaque for their achievements. They’re given the opportunity to stand before everyone and talk about some of their favorite memories, accomplishments, and people who inspired them the most at CORE.
Food and beverages are served and everyone can picnic together. There are even baptisms happening in the creek nearby! It’s a time of fellowship and celebration as we send our graduates on to the next phase of their lives, taking with them everything that they’ve learned here at CORE.