Danielle’s story: one year on

Posted on December 12, 2019 by Iosis

‘There is not a day go by when I don’t think about the people at Merivale and my time there. I’ve made lifelong friends. It was so challenging and rewarding.’

Danielle graduated from Merivale in June 2018 and we shared her story last year. Now, a year later, she reports that life is looking up for her and her daughter Missy.

Danielle & Missy

“We are doing so well – Missy is now 2½ and she is so smart. She is toilet trained, can count to 10 and knows the alphabet. She is amazing! We are still living in Ruawai, which we love – it’s an amazing community. Missy is very happy at daycare and goes to stay with my Mum in Dargaville every Friday and I pick her up on Saturday. She’s got her own little bedroom there and they have such a special bond. My sister lives there too and I am so grateful that Missy has a strong, supportive family around her. When Missy stays overnight, I miss her!”

Danielle reports that she’s had a busy year and she’s understandably proud of her achievements. “I was discharged from Oranga Tamariki last year and have also now been discharged from AOD. My counsellor said that I’m doing so well, he’s not sure I need him any more. Occasionally I go to an NAB meeting and I know where to turn if I need help.”

“I’ve started up my Jewellery business again and Missy and I go to the local market in the weekend and sell my jewellery there – it gives me a bit extra cash. I do think about the future and what will be best for Missy when she starts school. We may move to Dargaville, but at the moment we’re both really happy here.”

“There is not a day go by when I don’t think about the people at Merivale and my time there. I’ve made lifelong friends. It was so challenging and rewarding.”

Danielle says she still keeps in touch with Jillian, who facilitated the AOD programme while Danielle was at Merivale. “She changed my life. I often look back on my parenting journal – particularly if I’m having a bad day. It reminds me of how far I’ve come and helps me reflect on the progress I’ve made with my life and parenting Missy.”

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