Please say “hello” to MaryAnn. As the writer of this spotlight, I had first met MaryAnn in 2019 at Skull Hill Biker Church through some mutual friends. I saw MaryAnn as someone who is vibrant, embraces life, a spitfire, feisty, quick witted, a tough cookie, faithful to God, and someone who loves to ride on the back of her husband’s motorcycle.
Over a year later, in the Fall of 2020, MaryAnn became a resident within our Bent Crandall Program (BCP), one of our residential programs at Sound Community Services. MaryAnn says, “my best thinking got me here.” What makes MaryAnn’s story so unique is that she’s a wife, a mother, a grandmother… She’s someone who exemplifies you’re never too old to ask for help.
For 10 years, MaryAnn fought for her recovery from a substance abuse disorder. Then in 2004, she relapsed, and her life turned upside down. Under the influence, she was in a horrific accident that almost took her life. Due to the accident, she was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). While recovering in the hospital, she had to relearn everything that once came so easy to her from learning how to talk, eat, to being able to walk. Playing simple solitaire on the computer, helped her relearn how to think and to remember.
When MaryAnn came to BCP, at first, she didn’t think she belonged there. With time, she gave the program a chance. “I love Bent Crandall, I’m so appreciative and my feelings towards Bent Crandall and that particular program has done a 360. They were just so fantastic in my life and I’m so grateful,” states MaryAnn.
During her times of relapse, her husband of 22 years has been her rock. “To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health…” She gets teary eyed when she speaks about her husband. “My husband, he honored his vows and we’re still together,” states MaryAnn. When MaryAnn was granted passes at BCP to have “dates” with her husband, it was tough at first. MaryAnn had broken her husband’s trust in her. Her saying “she was trustworthy” wasn’t cutting it, she had to rebuild and earn her husband’s trust back. She remembers their 1st argument many years ago. “He and I agreed at that time that when we argue we won’t bring up the past, we will not call each other names, and that we stick to the subject at hand, and both of us have honored that since,” states MaryAnn.
One of MaryAnn’s coping skills is art. She is a fantastic artist with a creative mind. She draws, paints, writes in calligraphy, puts together decoupage art, and much more. Artwork takes her mind off things. She states, “I feel it gives me self-esteem. It’s really therapeutic. I give a lot of it away, but the biggest gift I receive in my art is watching that persons face when they open it up.”
After 18 months, MaryAnn is reunited with her husband at home. To stay in recovery though, MaryAnn will continue to use Sounds services, continue to attend AA (Alcohol Anonymous) meetings, and continue to attend Recovery Church. She states, “I’m going to stay teachable and do the right thing. I still ask for help. I have to, I can’t do this by myself. It’s God that makes me strong. It’s not I, it’s God working through me. What a journey it has been.”
We’re very proud of you, MaryAnn. You have the love, support, and tools you need to succeed!