Melissa Reyes is one of our Family Group Peer Counselors at our Ironside location. She also serves those who are Spanish speaking so they too can find the appropriate support. Melissa is passionate about serving family members, relatives and friends of those struggling with substance use who want to help their loved one or close friend while also finding support from other members that have experienced some of the same chaos. Melissa believes it does not matter which substance our loved ones are abusing as any abuse of substance creates fear, stress, anger and heart-breaking agony to family members and destabilization to the entire relationship dynamic. Melissa loves to help people understand what “surrender” really means and to get them to a place where they can learn to “trust the process.” One of her favorite steps that we say in the beginning of every meeting after our preamble is “Stick with winners in order to grow.” For her, this was the key to entering a new and blessed phase of life. Melissa wants family members to know that this program takes time, effort, patience and plenty of love. She believes if they stick with us, they will experience some of the serenity and peace this program has to offer and they will have a safe place to heal the soul and to refresh that idea of what self-care really looks like.
Our work in Family Group is so important to Melissa because she’s been that loved one living in that distorted life of self-deception. She has survived and, with the help of this very organization, continues to live this new and blessed life in recovery which at one point seemed unimaginable. Today and everyday, she is most thankful for her renewed relationship with her higher power which she chooses to call God. Melissa says when she meets people that struggle with this concept or idea, she hears her mother’s words, “God’s hands are so big! They can reach anyone anywhere!”
When she’s not working, Melissa loves to get together with friends and have dinner and a movie. She also loves to engage in physical activity. Whether it be at the gym, swimming, playing tennis, yoga, taking a walk or hiking in nature, she’s almost always up for an adventure!