By Justin Sweitzer
“I thought my kids would be better off without me.”
Those were the thoughts echoing in the mind of Angela Powell when she tried to take her own life in November 2015.
Some may question how a mother of three young children could attempt such an act that would change the lives of her children forever. But after going through two rounds of rehab and signing away the custody of her children in the same year, Powell had already long been enslaved by addiction.
“I just wanted to be a supermom,” Powell said. That goal became harder and harder to obtain as she fell deeper into the grasp of addiction, all due to an unfortunate chain of events that led her to debate whether it was really worth it to keep fighting.
It started when Powell transitioned from working full-time to being a stay-at-home mom in 2008. The constant physical demands of caring for children eventually left her with two bulging discs in her lower back, which led her doctor to prescribe painkillers to take the edge off. The painkillers worked, but perhaps a little too well. Not only was Powell reliant on them to help her get through the day, but she began to abuse them. Within six months, her abuse had escalated rapidly.
In September of 2009, Powell completed two weeks of treatment and returned home. Her newfound sobriety, however, was short-lived.
Powell represents a common type of resident at EDI: a mother, a student, an employee.
The absence of a strong support system did little to help Powell combat the corrosive nature of her disease. Her husband at the time did not understand addiction and was not supportive of her battle to obtain sobriety. Powell soon began drinking, falling back into the addiction that turned an average mother into another victim of such a common disease.
But following her suicide attempt late last year, Powell found Easy Does It (EDI), which she credits for turning her life around and setting her on a path to success. “Easy Does It saved me,” Powell said. “It’s the first safe place I’ve lived in since before my addiction.”
Powell may be one of EDI’s most inspiring success stories. Ten months after her life nearly came to an end, she’s on track to go back to school and complete the proper coursework to obtain her associate degree in accounting.
“Tomorrow I celebrate 10 months [sober], and I get to see my kids every other weekend,” she said.
Her message to others is not to view those struggling with addiction as inherently bad. “We don’t have a moral deficiency,” she said. “We just do bad things as a slave to drugs and alcohol.”
Powell represents a common type of resident at EDI: a mother, a student, an employee; someone who is, and easily blends in as, an average member of society.
“It can be anybody,” Powell said, reaffirming that there’s no stereotypical model of someone fighting addiction.
Thanks to EDI, Powell is taking her recovery day by day, enjoying the time she gets to spend with her kids at her parents’ home every other week. She says her kids have a positive view of EDI, recognizing it as “the big white building where mommy is safe and making good choices.”