During Women’s History Month, we honor the legacy of women who have made the world a better place. And yet we sometimes overlook the fact that all women have a hand in shaping the future.
Whether leading their families or in other vital roles in their communities, women who are empowered to thrive can make a positive impact for generations to come. For women facing the chronic condition of addiction in Georgia, however, such opportunities—and even lives—are cut devastatingly short.
Lightway Recovery, part of the Navigate Recovery Gwinnett family, is a nonprofit organization that is working to make sure more women in our state have the solid foundation they need to live out their full purpose. Slated to open soon this spring, Lightway Recovery is a residential wellness center that serves women by providing the resources and environment for beginning and sustaining long-term recovery.
In addition to women at all life stages, Lightway Recovery has the distinction of serving pregnant and postpartum women. Addressing the unique recovery needs of expectant and recent mothers was especially important to Susan Barge, Lightway’s CEO and executive director because there are fewer existing programs open to them.
“For these women, committing to an intensive recovery program is a profound expression of love that can forever change their child’s and family’s life for the better,” said Barge, who is herself a person in long-term recovery.
With Barge at the helm, Lightway Recovery is also staffed and run by a team of women in successful, sustained recovery. As highly trained peers, they model the beauty of recovery for the female residents they coach and serve.
What does recovery mean to these women? In a word, hope.
“I will never forget where I came from, but I try to keep moving forward and doing the next right thing,” said Carsyn. “My life started changing, and the way I viewed my own life began to transform. I recognized that the world and outside influences dominated my life and spirit before recovery. Now I live independently without owing people or depending on them to support me. I cherish being a useful person in society and helping those around me see how awesome sobriety is.”
But most people working to overcome addiction need support to start and succeed on their recovery journey. That was true for Joy.
“I knew I needed help, but didn’t know how to get it,” says Joy. “I began going to family support groups and educating myself about addiction. I went to as many meetings as I could. Throughout the process, I met so many people who felt the same pain I had. I also met individuals who had survived addiction and were living in long-term recovery. I began to understand the hold addiction had on my loved ones and how their brains were altered as a result of long-term use. Slowly, my hope and faith were restored.”
You can help Lightway Recovery build hope that lasts for generations. Visit lightwayrecovery.org/get-involved to join the movement.