Meet Us Monday: Melanie, Peer House Leader

Meet Melanie, our newest female peer house leader. Melanie was born in Jacksonville, Florida and grew up in Miami and Fort Myers, Florida. Melanie grew up with a single mother and two brothers. Her mother was abused by one of her alcoholic boyfriends and Melanie and her brothers had to fight him to defend their mother. Then at 13, she moved to Charleston, South Carolina.
Melanie’s addiction first took root in 2007, after her husband took his own life. At that time, she was drinking very heavily. Her addiction came to a breaking point when her brother was killed in a car accident – and she had been behind the wheel and intoxicated.
While she knew she needed help, she struggled to find it at home. She continued to drink, so the courts in South Carolina sentenced Melanie to REAL LIFE and sent her on the bus to Richmond. When Melanie was asked why she came to REAL LIFE she responded “I was court ordered… thank goodness!!”
REAL LIFE has helped her to find herself and have a safe environment. The program has become a ‘landing place to clear [her] mind and to realize what [her] focus needs to be on.” The program has helped her to get her finances together and get her license back. “Everything that there is in life they will support it, to having a job, having a place to live, money, and managing your money.”
Melanie enjoys the camaraderie between the female Lifers. REAL LIFE has a “great structure on how they want everyone to proceed day-to-day life.” The program “looks at people as individuals not a number.”
Melanie’s goals include running her own company, having her own home, and to continue with her sobriety and new outlook on life. She’s well on her way to success, and we’re so happy to have her as a Peer House Leader!