Daniel had a lot on his shoulders as he cared for a father with mental illness…

Prior to 2015, I was living with a mentally unstable father who caused a lot of trauma to my own mental well-being. It affected my own ability to communicate and maintain long-lasting relationships with friends and family. With the stress of school and trying to take care of my father, I started to become unstable. What began as mental abuse turned into physical altercations. The last fight we had, he said he was leaving and he never came back. That was two years ago and I haven’t seen him since.

To deal with the stress, I became a heavy pot-smoker. To quit that addiction, I began drinking because I thought it would be easier to hide. Turns out, it was much more difficult to quit drinking. Unable to pay the rent on my own, I had to move in with my grandmother, mother, and step-father until I could save enough money to live on my own. But with the combination of working in a restaurant environment and the experiences with my father, I became a severe alcoholic in really no time at all.

I found an apartment with someone I had gone to high school with. Long story short, my roommate was explosive and difficult to live with. After she found out about my drinking, she kicked me out. I also lost my job at a telemarketing agency because of my drinking. Everything just happened all at once and since my family wouldn’t let me back in, I started staying in shelters.

During this time, I conquered sobriety, found a stable job and managed to pay off a large sum of debt. The last shelter I lived in told me that I would be a great candidate for Eva’s Phoenix. My housing worker helped me fill out the application to get accepted.

Early this year, I moved into Eva’s and started gaining a lot of my independence back. I have my own room to live and I get a great sense of peace from this. I also never really knew how much I missed cooking my own meals until I came to this great place I now call my home. Before I came into Eva’s, I felt like I was slipping into my old habits so many times. Being here, I do not feel the slightest pressure to revert to my old self. I have relearned my independence and my personal self-worth and I can tell myself that I am meant to be happy and live a long and great life. Life events are unavoidable but I at least feel like I can withstand the storm without any sort of self-medication to make it through the day. Eva’s Phoenix has made me realize that I’m important.

While preparing and saving for my future, I’ve been accepted into an Office Administration program. I feel my talents as a natural people person will assist me in gaining a great career in the next few years. Maybe one day I will get to travel around the world as well. I’d like to backpack across Europe and continue meeting new and exciting people. I feel like now is the perfect time in my life to make the plans I need to succeed in my future and Eva’s is giving me this chance to set the bar higher.

I am lucky that I have such a strong network of people who are always there for me. Everything that has happened to this day has made me become a better person. Eva’s Phoenix has reintroduced me into a life I thought was lost forever and I will be able to enter the future with a bright smile on my face.


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