Resolana: Debra’s Story

“The Resolana program will lead you where you need to go.”

Debra Bea McCarthy

Lifelong Dallas-area resident Debra Bea McCarthy stays busy with her work for Amazon, completing her fifth year with the company as a trainer for Amazon van drivers. She’s the mother of five adult children and she and her husband enjoy their home in Lancaster. And she sings in the Living Sound Choir at Inspiring Body of Christ Church.

Her life today is, however, a complete turnaround from her youth. She had a turbulent early start with an abusive, alcoholic mother. After her parents divorced, Child Protective Services became involved and Debra and her siblings were placed in the care of her father, a leader in a very strict church. Debra’s outlet was singing; she loved the choirs at church and her school, where she excelled as a student. But when she became pregnant in the 10th grade, she found herself rejected by the church. “My self-esteem was gone,” she said.

By the time she was 19, she had made progress on further education, had another child, and was now back in Dallas going to computer school during the day and working as a waitress. And she had started drinking. Soon, she was working in nightclubs. That was where she first snorted cocaine. “That stuff was magic dust for me,” she said, adding she enjoyed learning to dress up and work in the fancy atmosphere. It was at another club that she was introduced to crack cocaine. Cycles of substance abuse and sobriety followed, leading to the loss of homes and custody of her children. One bright spot involved a reconciliation with her father that brought her back into the family fold. There was, however, one last cycle downward after an important relationship soured. It was 2012 and she ended up in the Dallas County Jail for possession.

She was given the option of going into Resolana, the trauma and addiction treatment pod run by Volunteers of America Texas. “I took treatment,” she said. “I didn’t know how this would work. I had tried to stop on my own, but it wasn’t pretty. I fell and fell hard.”

Resolana was, she said, “so cool.” For two months, she followed the routine, learning yoga, meditation and listening to those who would come and share their own stories and talk about drugs. “It helped me look at life in a different way,” Debra said. “I didn’t know how I was going to do this, but I started diving into the program to change how I think and act in life.”

Debra’s next stop was in a treatment facility, then out with a sponsor and meetings with Dallas Drug Addicts Anonymous. Before long, Debra was one of the people going into Resolana to tell her story and offering encouragement to the women. “I got to give back to Resolana what they gave me,” she said.

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