It’s about 7 p.m. on a Wednesday night. It’s still over a hundred degrees outside in the desert. The air conditioning is blasting. You can hear laughter in the air.
In this nondescript building, in a nondescript neighborhood lives about 20 women. They come from all over the country. Some are older. Some still in their teens. They have a single thing in common. They are all fighting to stay sober.
The journey to get here hasn’t been easy for any of them. In the battle against drugs and alcohol these women were on the frontlines. Most are scarred, emotionally and physically. They lost friends and family to the disease. They are the survivors.
Surviving doesn’t mean winning. And these women want to see a victory. They want to see the scars fade, the hurt go away. That’s why they are here. But the thing about scars is you always know they are there, even after they disappear.
These women get up every morning. Brush their teeth and get dressed. Some head to therapy, some to work. It doesn’t matter, they are out of bed. They come in and out of each other’s lives all day every day. An absence never goes unnoticed. They fall asleep every night next to a fellow soldier.
There are injuries along the way, women who couldn’t take it anymore. But those women came back, more knowledgeable about the enemy and more determined to fight it than ever. They saw what happened if they gave up. There are also casualties. At least it feels that way. They leave a hole behind, even if they don’t mean to.
Others leave to resume the fight somewhere else. Back at home maybe. They are missed too, just in a different way. They call, say Hi. Check-in.
Strength comes in numbers and while about 20 doesn’t seem like a lot, for this group, it’s everything. For some of these women its more people then they interacted with in a month. There is always someone around to talk to, cry with, and laugh with.
It’s by no means perfect. No one wants to have a chore or a curfew at 30. That’s the tradeoff though. A few simple rules, in exchange for support in the fight. It’s better than the days of being hopelessly, helplessly alone.
In this nondescript building in a nondescript neighborhood sits a sober living. Inside sits some of the fiercest, funniest, smartest women fighting to save their lives.