Denise's Journey: Empowering Individuals in Recovery Through Peer Support

Denise's Journey: Empowering Individuals in Recovery Through Peer Support

In Taunton, Massachusetts, lives an extraordinary woman named Denise—a House Mentor in the Zero Tolerance Women’s Sober Living Home and a dedicated recovery coach in New Bedford. With boundless warmth and compassion, Denise profoundly impacts the lives of numerous individuals, both men and women, as they navigate their path to recovery. Having triumphed over her own battle with addiction, Denise understands the challenges faced by those grappling with substance abuse. She leads by example and is committed to her newfound passion for helping those in recovery.  

The Journey to Taunton 

When Denise began her recovery journey, she was at a point in her life where she would do whatever it took to transform her life. “Whenever people with really good recovery and a lot of knowledge told me what to do. I was like, okay I’m going to do what you tell me to do.” And so, when a bed opened up at the Zero Tolerance Home in Taunton, the Worcester native said, “okay”, with no hesitance, packed up her stuff and started her life in Taunton. That was back in September of 2021, and two years later, Denise serves as the House Mentor for the women in the home and just began her career as a recovery coach in New Bedford.   

The Second Act & The Transformative Power of Purpose 

Denise describes starting her life in recovery as her second act. “It’s the most rewarding point of my entire life if I’m being honest, besides of course, my two boys.” Denise wakes up every morning genuinely happy because she knows that she has found her purpose. Her life before, raising two kids in Worcester, MA in a 5-bedroom home working with lawyers and attorneys, is the complete opposite of her life now. Yet, anyone who knows Denise sees that she exudes calmness, confidence, and happiness in her current life.  

Denise strongly believes in the power of purpose, and she motivates all of her peers in recovery to find their purpose; to find a reason to get up every morning. Without a purpose, there really is no reason to stay clean. Denise works very hard to encourage her peers to get up and engage in their recovery because as she says, “there is a big difference between being clean and being in recovery.” A life in recovery takes consistent effort and working on every aspect of your life. You need a purpose to really flourish in recovery, and in life.  

Building Trust and Personal Growth 

Denise takes great pride in her role as a house mentor and recovery coach, and she is dedicated to constant learning and growth. She firmly believes that success in recovery is within reach for everyone. “It’s simple,” she says. “Look at those who have what you want and follow their lead.” Denise chose her own sponsor based on qualities she admired: confidence, calmness, and eloquence. She firmly believes that there is always a way forward, and her goal is to empower individuals to discover their own path.  

Do No Harm, Take No Shit  

Denise is a strong advocate for mindfulness in her daily life. Guided by her philosophy of “do no harm but take no shit,” a phrase she discovered in an adult coloring book, Denise is committed to making a positive impact on individuals, one person at a time. Denise firmly believes in the power of simple tools, such as coloring, to help people overcome social anxiety and remain focused on their path to recovery. Emphasizing the importance of simplicity, Denise reminds us that even the smallest tools, like coloring, can wield a tremendous influence on one’s journey toward healing. She has witnessed firsthand how this seemingly uncomplicated activity can bring solace and foster meaningful connections.  

A Lifelong Commitment to Recovery 

Denise wakes up every morning filled with excitement for life. She has discovered her true passion in helping others, and she has no plans of slowing down. Denise embodies unwavering dedication and a desire to be on the front lines, seeking solutions to complex problems that still lack clear answers. One person at a time, one act of kindness at a time, she is committed to making a difference. Denise understands that recovery is a lifelong commitment that requires ongoing effort. As she puts it, “I have to make the most of what I have left and do it with passion.”