We first met Ashleigh when she came to Maggie’s in 2016, but it would be almost two more years before we’d see her again. “I wasn’t completely convinced I was an alcoholic; I still believed that I could drink normally.”

After completing the Social Detox Program in 2018, something was different in Ashleigh. “During my last relapse, I finally understood my step one, and I had no more ideas on how I could control and enjoy my drinking. Those days were long gone. I saw this little house filled with ladies who were sober and happy about it. So I decided to come back. I never left.”

This time she immediately got involved. She helped with volunteering overnight, chairing meetings, and really doing anything needed around The House. A little over a year went by, and she joined the team as a Program Coordinator in the Social Detox office. It has been such a joy watching Ashleigh grow and come out of her shell. She is one of the most dependable people and always willing to help, no matter what the task is. And with the women in the Social Detox Program she is incredible because she relates to them so well. Her calm presence is a gift to this house.

Happy two years, Ashleigh! We are so grateful to have you!

What has been the most significant gift to you in your recovery?

I’ve been trying to figure out the right combination of words that would accurately describe this. All I know is I spent years trying to understand what was wrong with me, why I drank the way I did, and how I couldn’t stop like others. I was utterly hopeless sober, and I wasn’t successful drinking anymore.

Finding The Magdalen House, my incredible sponsor that took me through the book exactly how it is outlined, along with my home group that is focused on the solution – it’s a combination only God could come up with – that’s the gift. Finding strong women who drank how I did but seeing that they were sober AND happy about it. Being shown that both were not only possible and obtainable for ME is a gift I work daily to try to pay back.

What would you tell a newly sober woman or one who is still trying to get sober?

Do what is suggested and remember that reading the book isn’t the same thing as taking action stated in the book – it literally is the life instruction manual I always needed. Early in sobriety, and even to this day, there are things I haven’t felt like doing or wanted to do program wise. I’ve learned it’s completely okay to feel that way, BUT, still, make that commitment, make that phone call, finish that inventory, do whatever it is that my alcoholic brain is trying to convince me not to do.

My second most significant piece of advice y’all – practice putting what you’ve read in the book into your life. When I am in fear or doubt, there’s a prayer for that! When I’m stuck in a cozy ball of self-pity, the book has a solution for it! When I don’t know how to handle a situation, y’all guessed it, Bill has us covered. Point being, trying my utmost daily to take what I’ve learned in the basic text and put it to use daily, has been the biggest game-changer in my life.

God doesn’t make too hard terms for those that honestly seek. 😊

What is your life like today?

Today I get to wake up knowing I have a purpose in life. I have a relationship with something bigger than myself. My head isn’t nonstop, constantly spinning riddled with anxiety or fear or everything being all about myself. Today I get to be a part of something so much bigger than anything I could have come up with years ago. I get to see this transformation of ladies weekly, going from utterly shattered, beaten down and broken to literally seeing the light come back in their eyes, hearing them full-on belly laugh. I get to be the best dog momma to my sweet baby Australian Shepherd, Tex, and we spend our days at the lake. I get to be a friend, a coworker, and a roommate that can be fully mentally and physically present. It’s all love, y’all.

About Ashleigh Castleberry, Program Coordinator

Ashleigh is a two times Maggie’s girl. She started getting involved and volunteering in the fall of 2017. Once she was given the opportunity to volunteer overnight with the women staying at The Magdalen House, she quickly found out that Friday night “slumber parties” were the highlight of her week. She believes that it is such an incredible opportunity to be able to witness the transformation and growth of the women during and after their stay. She will be forever grateful for The Magdalen House for saving her life. Today, she is thankful and honored to be able to give back to her favorite little Dallas house. 

Dogs and the women at Maggie’s have all of her heart.