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“I try to be of some encouragement to them, let them know what I went through and how I got through it.”

-Timika Taylor, A Step Forward staff

regularly attending 12-step meetings, and getting a sponsor to help navigate the ups and downs of early sobriety. While Taylor entered treatment willingly, it took a while for her to make an important breakthrough. “It was a challenge in the beginning. I had trust issues.” Then, about four months into the program, “I kept feeling depressed and didn't know why.” Eventually, her mental health therapist helped Taylor realize that she was “holding on to a lot of things” from her past, including negative feelings related to abuse. She learned that her tendency to “stuff” feelings was one of the things that led her to use drugs. Taylor has also found that recording her thoughts and feelings in a daily journal has been a useful tool to track the personal progress she has made in her recovery journey. “If I am going through something, I will write about and deal with it, then later I can go back and look at the journal and see how much I have grown. I can

see that it wasn't that big a deal and see that if I got through that, I can get through other things.” The counseling, support groups, and supportive, recovery housing offered at A Step Forward helped her realize she could face life on its own terms, without numbing herself with drugs, Taylor says. For her, A Step Forward was a good place to “take time to recuperate, put your life into perspective and take the necessary steps to do what you need to better yourself.” Since September of 2015, Taylor has been a A Step Forward's Senior House Monitor for Females at ASF’s Women With Children supportive housing facility. She's also currently a student at Baltimore City Community College, working toward a Human Services degree. She's also passing on to other clients what she has learned at A Step Forward. “I try to be of some encouragement to them, let them know what I have been through, what I am still going through and how I have gotten through it.”

“I can see that it wasn't that big a deal and that, if I got through that, I can get through other things.” – Timika Taylor, A Step Forward staff

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