Success Stories

Personal Stories of Recovery

Diane Hudson finds home, hope 

Each time Diane Hudson swings open the door and flips on the lights to her Tullio Towers apartment, she feels an emotion that would’ve felt foreign to her not that long ago: pride.

“It feels wonderful,” she says. “When you can turn the key and open the door to see everything that is yours, I have to smile.”

When Diane first accessed services at Stairways Behavioral Health more than two years ago, smiling was rarely an option.

Both her parents had died within six months of each other and Diane felt alone, resigned and without meaning. She had always had a tendency to at times withdraw when she felt depressed, but when she lost her mother and father, this became her one and only method of coping.

“When I get isolated, the thoughts tend to come into my head and I get consumed by them to the point that they’re all I have,” Diane said.

Her depression deepened so much that she rarely left the living space she had been sharing with an acquaintance.

“I would wake up in the morning, get a little something to eat and then go back to my bedroom for the next 24 or 36 hours,” Diane said.

She saw little hope and, at one point, attempted suicide.

But once the mother of two, grandmother of eight and great-grandmother of five was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and major depression, she took the initiative to seek the help she needed. Diane employed the services of Stairways by working with a blended case manager, a psychiatric rehabilitation worker and a certified peer specialist in addition to her therapist and psychiatrist. Steadily working toward a better understanding of her illness and how to best manage it, Diane’s mood and depression have improved.

Diane is now able to see the promise her future holds. In fact, a significant part of Diane’s work with Stairways staff has her focusing on setting and achieving goals.

And one goal in particular meant more to her than any other.

“The biggest goal I was trying to achieve was getting my own place to live,” she said. “It took me nine months to achieve it but I was finally able to.”

Now, just two months after moving in, Diane’s sense of pride is at an all-time high, as her apartment is meticulously cared for, well-appointed and adorned by a number of glass decorations she has created. Diane used funds from Stairways' Client Assistance Fund to help furnish her apartment.

But perhaps Diane’s pride of ownership is second only to the pride she feels in her recovery. It’s one feeling — along with hope— she wants others to feel as well.

“I want to tell people what I’ve been through because I want them to know to never give up,” she said.


"Stairways helped me to work on recovery, one step at a time." -Ron S

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