“It just takes somebody to believe in you.”Xavier Roberts
For Xavier Roberts, the road to drug addiction was a long, slow downhill drive. The California native first set foot in Texas as a 32-year-old adult. Married, with children, she began so-called “recreational” drug use. “It was fun,” she said. “Drink a little here, snort a little cocaine there. I could go to work; I could take care of the children. I didn’t realize how progressive a disease addiction was.”
It was an especially traumatic domestic abuse episode with her now ex-husband in 2012 that proved to be the event that caused the slow progression of addiction to turn into a full-blown crisis. “It was so traumatic; I went downhill so fast. I started using and drinking more and more.”
Xavier was completely overtaken by the disease. She was using heroin, smoking meth, and prostituting herself to get more drugs – all to cover the pain. “I had a ‘feeling disease,’” she says of her addiction. “Anything I have to feel, I don’t want to deal with. I watched my whole life go spiraling out of control.”
At this point, she was in the revolving door of jail time and treatment facilities. But something changed. She had missed so much of life, including her oldest daughter’s high school graduation. “I wanted something different,” she said. “I wanted something different for my children.”
The Volunteers of America Texas Resolana Program became the “something different” that led Xavier into a new way of living. The program focuses on treating issues resulting from trauma as well as addiction. “Resolana planted the seed that change was possible,” Xavier said.
Xavier cited one part of the treatment program that was special to her. Program Director Leslie Mahney would come in and do therapy with art projects. “The ability to be creative connected me spiritually. I was able to get familiar with the Higher Power again,” Xavier said. “It was like somebody opened the door and said, ‘Look out there. You can have a different life.’”
And it is. Today, Xavier is a case manager and certified recovery coach specialist working with women who are substance abusers. She owns her own home and car and still goes to Narcotics Anonymous meetings and works with a sponsor. “I’ve changed people, places, and things,” she explains. “I do the next right thing that’s in front of me.”
Her family is reunified, and her 14-year-old daughter comes to see her every weekend. And Xavier has big plans. “I want a degree in social work,” she says. “I’d like to work for a nonprofit that helps women who were trafficked.
“I would just say, ‘Change! Look up! You, too, can have the life you desire if you reach out and get some help. It can change if you do the work.”