After her May 13 graduation from Adult & Teen Challenge Ohio Valley/Hope Counseling, Alexandra Rouse plans to enter a sober living facility and ultimately return to college. “I was in nursing school so I do plan on returning to that and finishing out my degree,” she said.
Alexandra, 20, is originally from Blackstone, Va., and her brother’s counselor recommended ATCOV to Alexandra’s parents. “Honestly, I had no other options. It was either here or the local homeless shelter,” she said. “I was in and out of my parents’ house. I just really didn’t have anywhere else to go and things were getting really bad.”
Alexandra’s mental health was deteriorating. She wasn’t going to therapy or taking her medications. She was destroying long-term friendships and she dropped out of college. She was bouncing around from job to job and spending all of her money.
“My parents couldn’t trust me and my siblings were terrified of me,” Alexandra said. She started using alcohol and marijuana at 16. She was raped at 15 which kickstarted it all.
Her drug and alcohol use progressed. “It kind of numbed everything I was feeling with the sexual assault and all of that, my depression and anxiety,” she said.
When she first arrived at ATCOV, she was very resistant and thought it was a weird place. “It honestly took probably six months for me to really get it into my head this is definitely what I need and it is helping,” Alexandra said.
She accepted that she was bettering her life and building her relationship with God through ATCOV “which is what I’ve needed my entire life, I just didn’t know it at the time.”
Through counseling, she’s learned how to regulate her emotions, deal with difficult people and improve her coping skills. She’s also developed a relationship with Jesus.
“I grew up going to church, but I never had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ at all,” Alexandra said. “It has made things so much easier. I mean, I’ve still struggled, but it’s like having a personal counselor 24/7.”