Taylor Vallance
Youth Intern

    Recovery was an abstract concept for most of my life. I lost the relationship with my biological father due to his substance abuse and mental illness and then I lost the relationship with myself for the same reason. My mother tried her best to fill the holes in my heart and soul but you can only do so much for someone who hasn't decided they are worthy of love and change.
    Growing up I trusted nobody, I chose to have nobody afraid that if they saw me for who I was they would run. I was queer, the child of an addict, I was a sexual assault survivor, I battled trauma and I was lost. I started smoking when I was 12 and from there it was codependency from one thing or person to the next all the way through high school to avoid the hurt I was feeling.
    I was addicted to hurting myself, I was convinced I wasn't worth the time or effort to heal. But June 2019, just after graduating high school, I decided to take my life back. I did some deep soul searching that summer and found my sobriety from all of my past addictions and let myself begin healing from my trauma. I went to college with barely 2 months sober and I continued my path of accountable healing to become who I am in this moment.
    It was hard and it was messy but I took my recovery seriously for the first time ever. I'm a better child, sister, friend, artist, scholar, and citizen because of the adversity I've overcome and I wouldn't change a single step of my journey. I'm present for the first time in my life and ready to be the wounded healer. "