New Person, Fresh Life

By “C”, Saranam alumni

We so dearly wish we could have met to hear from these amazing women in person at our Annual Sean Hopkins Memorial Event, but are honored to share their powerful stories with you here.

“C” is one of the remarkable women you would have met and she was kind enough to share with us how she believes she became a new person at Saranam.


To meet “C” is to see a woman full of confidence, strength, and self-assurance. But this, she says, is the new person she has become at Saranam. Her old self, she doesn’t recognize anymore.

C’s journey began with a simple oral surgery, when the pills prescribed for her recovery began a drug dependency.

She hid her addiction throughout her seven-year marriage, suffering silently without help or support. She was cut off from her family by her emotionally abusive husband and spent her days isolated with her two kids.

She can no longer pinpoint how she summoned the strength, but she sought help and entered rehab.

Her marriage, already broken, formally ended during her time in rehab. This meant that she exited the program without a home, without her kids, and without a way to support herself. “It was worse (upon exit),” she said. The next years of her life were punctuated with drug use, meaningless jobs, and three suicide attempts. She tried rehab again, but her demons still haunted her, “I was still in the same place- I couldn’t handle being alone and sad.”

When she became pregnant again, she knew she needed to change for the sake of her child. She bravely reached out to her family, who advocated for her to be put into a different rehab program that focused on building a network of support and job skills. It gave her the leg-up she needed.

She stayed at Barrett House for a period upon her successful exit and had a good job with the State of New Mexico, but still didn’t have a place for her other children to join her.


She needed a big change to get her where she wanted to be and knew that getting into Saranam could get her there.

Her life hasn’t been the same since her acceptance. “Saranam has changed everything…,” she says, “my plan when I got here was to do something quick. I didn’t think I could get to do what I really wanted. To me, I was a drug addict and I wasn’t worth it. But the first semester went well, and as time went on, I (started to think) I could do what I wanted to do. Now I know I can do it. She has big goals and has completed the first year of her studies to become a nurse.

She draws a large amount of her confidence from the community that surrounds her. Her friends at Saranam have encouraged her and taught her how to both give, and receive, compassion.


The stable housing at Saranam has also meant that she is able to have all her kids back under one roof. They have steadily healed as a family, regaining trust and learning how to function together again. She feels proud that her kids now feel comfortable enough to sleep in their own beds and play outside with the other kids. Her goal is to make sure they always have confidence that she will be by their side- no matter what.


C knows she will never be without support again. She has started to build back her relationship with her mom. “She always tells me how proud she is of what I’m doing and for not giving up. That feels good.” She also plans to stay involved and add new faces to her support network when she leaves. Her hope is to use her current favorite community activity- gardening- to bring people together in her next place.

“There’s never a way to fully explain what Saranam has done for me,” she says, “I’m a completely different person now.”