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Our Stories - Carina

Carina
Supported living setting
""Staff make my life better by respecting my needs, and because they are honest and try their best to help me with my problems.""
- Carina

From All-Time Low to All-Time High

Carina was at the lowest point in her life. She had spent a year in a regional treatment facility, with no hope in sight. For much of her life, she had been moved in and out of foster homes and hospitals because most places could not provide adequate services to keep her safe. With a lack of consistent support and no one certain they could help her, she began to lose self-confidence, regress emotionally, and engage in behaviors that harmed herself and others. Though Carina had given up, her journey of hope was about to begin.

Carina received a visit from RSI staff who told her they could and would help her. In 2009, Carina moved into a supported living setting operated by RSI. With little faith in yet another treatment choice, Carina says the transition was difficult. She had a hard time trusting staff, as past experiences had taught her they would eventually give up on her. Carina believed it was only a matter of time until RSI wouldn't be able to safely support her and she would end up back at a hospital or other secured facility.

Because of her anxiety over her unknown future, Carina engaged in maladaptive coping behaviors. She often spoke of wanting to go back to the hospital, as it was an environment she was accustomed to. Over time, she realized RSI was not giving up on her; in fact, it was just the opposite.

RSI continued to provide consistent and compassionate supports and services for Carina. Eventually, she realized she was cared about, not just as a patient or as a client, but as an individual. She developed a newfound trust in others and became comfortable sharing her thoughts and feelings. Ultimately, she began to understand the areas in her life she needed support in and why.

After two years at RSI, Carina is living in a way others never thought possible. She is regularly participating in the community going shopping and out to eat, attending dances, seeing movies in the theater, and even taking trips to see friends and family she had not seen for years. Carina helped with a fundraising benefit that raised $6,500 for resident activities and trips. She also adopted a shelter cat that she proudly cares for. Carina was also a key speaker at RSI's annual banquet, garnering the courage to share her story in front of a large audience.

Carina is now at her highest point, and with support from RSI, she intends to keep it that way.