Gwendolyn is someone who enjoys being busy. Alcohol kept her bust for a long time before she realized she had other options. “Today, I have choices,” says Gwen. Today, and for the last four years, Gwen has chosen to show up for herself, making the time to sustain her wellness and to make recovery her top priority.
Utilizing community resources such as Unison, Thomas M. Wernert Center, and other support systems has really helped Gwen on her journey. It was through Unison that Gwen met her close friend Pamela, who also attends TMWC. “I talk to Pam every day,” says Gwen. “It’s nice to have someone who understands.”
Over the past six months, coming to the Wernert Center has become a part of Gwen’s routine. “There are great people here,” says Gwen. “The Wernert Center just boosts me up!” She has been a regular participant in the Diabetes Support group and the Eigensee Family Fitness room. Since March, her A1C (blood sugar levels) have dropped from a 6.9 to a 5.5. She credits knowledge learned in Diabetes Support for adding healthier eating habits to her routine.
“I look forward to Lindsay’s encouragement every day,” Gwen says, referring to TMWC’s Fitness Room Coordinator. Lindsay shares the same feeling. “Gwen’s energy extends to everyone in the fitness room,” says Lindsay. “She and Pamela cheer everyone on, not just each other.”
During her free time, Gwen finds joy through creativity and play. Some of her favorite hobbies include crocheting, puzzles, exercising, and playing pool. “I like playing pool. I’m good at pool,” she says. “But, I stopped playing when I stopped going to bars.” Now Gwen enjoys a game or two a week in the Wernert Center recreation room.
Gwen is not immune to the feelings of temptation. Alcohol kept her busy when she did not want to be alone. “Now, I keep a full schedule of activities and by the end of the day I am at peace,” she says. She spent time this summer volunteering with the Wernert Center’s Litter League Crew, picking up trash around Downtown Toledo. She is also excited to volunteer at the Toledo Library SAME Café this month.
Gwen continues to wake up and show up, not only for herself, but for those around her. “I am so grateful for the environment TMWC provides,” she says. “To be surrounded by people who are like me – who understand and lift each other up. It has made my choice to focus on my wellbeing so much stronger,” she adds.