As one of the non-alcoholic women on staff, my experience working at The Magdalen House, with my recovered alcoholic colleagues and alcoholic clients, has given me an incredible gift of perspective.

If you asked me nearly two years ago how I’d feel about working with alcoholic women, I don’t know what my response would be, honestly. But now I have a lot of alcoholic women in my life and I couldn’t be more grateful for their willingness to share their knowledge, outlook and experiences with me. I have heard our community members’ stories, most of which would be considered heartbreaking by most of the population, told with such a sense of hope and vigor for life that it’s honestly jarring to a non-alcoholic.  How could her terrifying, troubling experience be told with such joy through tears? She seems to have lost everything that I consider even remotely valuable – how does she have a smile on her face?

The women in our community are fearless, compassionate and hopeful. They tell their stories solely to inspire hope in women just starting their journey, or the women who don’t yet understand their mental illness. Their stories offer hope to those still suffering from alcoholism – with an air of “there’s nothing to feel ashamed of, I’ve been there” attitude. And honestly, how refreshing is that? People being unabashedly transparent with one another just for the sake of helping someone else – it’s magical.

I’m not an alcoholic, but The Magdalen House has shown me, on more occasions than I can count, what compassion looks like in action, what a true community can and should look like, and how impactful, powerful and inspiring it can be when women are taking care of one another. 
I’m not an alcoholic, but The Magdalen House has given me an awful lot of hope for myself and for others.