Leona Foster is optimistic, charming, and radiates sunshine. When you first meet Leona, you would never guess what she has endured in her lifetime. Her candor and general love for life seem so fresh and pure.
The truth is that Leona suffered from drug abuse for 39 years of her life.
“Methamphetamine – that became my drug of choice. At age 16, I dropped out of school, was married, had a baby, and was divorced by the time I was 19 years old,” she said. “In-and-out of jail and institutions, ending up homeless and living out of berry bushes for three years of my life.”
So really, the quality of Leona’s optimism comes from her awareness of what rock bottom is.
“I felt like my life was over, I just wanted to die,” Leona remembers. “So in 2015, I tried to commit suicide on three different occasions each time waking up in the hospital. I always believed in God, so as a last resort I got on my knees and said, ‘God, I can’t do this anymore, please help.’”
On February 2, 2018, Leona marked two and a half years of being clean and sober.
Leona started back to school in 2016, and now she has her own apartment and two jobs. Before she graduated, Leona was often seen in her scrubs, bopping around campus, running from one work obligation to the other.
“I am full of hope today, and at age 54, I am getting my high school diploma,” Leona said as she spoke at her high school graduation. “It won’t stop here – I plan to go to college and get my degree in Drug and Alcohol Counseling so I can help others to achieve their goals.”