What circumstances brought you to where you before you joined Together We Bake?
Grayce: My circumstances before Together We Bake became a part of my life were. I was in a neighborhood I had never been before, surrounded by several police officers about to be handcuffed. The officers were there because of a call that came in about a woman being chased by another woman with a gun. I was the woman being chased! I couldn’t even tell you to this day why this person was chasing me. What I can remember was calling whoever I could get a hold of and telling them “goodbye” and to please tell my family “I loved them very much”. I truly thought, “This is it, I’m about to die”. As I was trying to talk to the officer in front of me – and by trying, I mean I was on so many different drugs communicating was near impossible – the officer eventually got fed up with my nonsense and asked me my name. Then came information that I had two warrants for my arrest. When the handcuffs locked on my wrist my knees buckled and I let out this sort of primal cry. After more than a decade of fighting my addiction and myself, I felt as if it was God himself who was saving me with those handcuffs. A few days after I was in jail, a lawyer called me and said she was taking my case and I was looking at a couple years in prison unless I was interested in a treatment program. It took me all of three seconds to decide to do the program, and four months later I was at an amazing transitioning house (Friends of Guest House). A month into living sober at FOGH I was recommended for the Together We Bake program. I’m happy to say as I write this I have six months clean, I have a job I love, I’m reconnected with my family, I have a loving and patient boyfriend who only knows me sober and I have some incredibly inspiring women in my life!!
What inspired you to apply to Together We Bake?
Grayce: When I decided to get sober I wanted to do it surrounded by women who were on the same path and who led other women down that path and TWB’s moto really spoke to me about “Empowering Women”.
How has Together We Bake changed your perspective on life?
Grayce: Since joining Together We Bake I now understand that just because I had lived a life I wasn’t exactly proud of, it doesn’t define me and, because of that life, I am strong enough to conquer anything.
Has someone at Together We Bake (a fellow participant, volunteer, an instructor, ect.) had a particular influence on you?
Grayce: If I am being totally honest, I was influenced by everyone in some way or another in the program. I learned from the volunteers and instructors that not everyone judges people like me and, not only do they not judge, they have understanding and compassion, as well as a determination to help women like me turn our lives around. As for my fellow team members, I learned that we all have a story and people from all backgrounds are capable of overcoming our past.
How would you describe Together We Bake?
Grayce: Together We Bake is like a guiding light with the power to help women out of the darkness. It helps ladies build themselves back up, show them a way to live and live the right way with all the tools and resources they need to get it right and truly embrace it this time around.
What do you feel is the most valuable thing you learned at Together We Bake?
Grayce: I think I learned the most valuable thing of all at TWB, and that is to love myself and fight for the life I want to live.
Do you have any specific memories of experiences at Together We Bake?
Grayce: My absolute favorite memory at TWB was graduation – seeing all the women that have been together on the journey of healing and growing finish the program with so much pride and optimism for their futures.
What was the most challenging thing about the program? How did you overcome those challenges?
Grayce: The most challenging thing about this program for me was when I didn’t pass the servsafe test. I have become such a perfectionist since being in recovery and not passing that test was a blow to my ego. I overcame that because, even though I didn’t pass the test, I gave it my all, and I did finish the program. It had been so long since I actually finished something, so I was proud of my accomplishments.
What is something you are proud of that you achieved because of your participation in Together We Bake?
Grayce: Because of this program I found the woman that I was always meant to be. I now know what I’m truly capable of, and I can achieve anything I put my mind to because while in this program I achieved so much. I worked my first job sober and stayed sober, I found love – sober love at that – but most importantly I achieved greatness as the woman I’ve dreamed of being!
What advice do you have for the women considering applying to Together We Bake?
Grayce: If you want to be a part of something great, something life changing and something that will greatly change your life for the better APPLY!!! TWB’s alumni and staff have the pieces you’re missing for your puzzle that is YOU!!! Joining TWB will change your life for the better and what better way to change your life than to always have an amazing group of women who will be there for the rest of your life through whatever you may need.