Stories of recovery are powerful because they lend hope to those that may be in similar situations and are displays of God’s grace and love. Vera Crowl is one woman who had a seemingly promising future as a college graduate hopeful during the 1970’s. However, due to a series of ill-advised choices, she dropped out of school and began a struggle with a thirty-year addiction, which eventually led to a five-year period of homelessness. However, Vera found hope in the way of treatment, a new network of supportive friends, and through the church community. Now Vera’s life is completely different. Among her many accomplishments, the now married Vera Crowl has graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Dayton. Vera relayed the joy of her graduation saying, “A lot of my professors were there and they came down out of the stands when I came down to the front… It was like this little commotion. There was so much love and they were so proud of me.” The following is an excerpt of an article from Palladium that discusses her transformation:
Vera graduated from high school with plans to study theater and music in college.
She enrolled at Southeast Missouri State College in 1971, which later attained university status while she was enrolled there.
“Nothing worked out,” Vera said. “I drank and drugged my way through college the first time. I thought it was fun, and it was just ruining everything. And I was letting it.”
Her first exposure to alcohol was actually years earlier while she was still in high school. It was then she first got drunk, although at the time she didn’t understand the consequences.
“My mother knew it when I came in,” Vera said. “And she walked up to me the next morning in the kitchen and very quietly said, ‘You don’t ever need to drink like that again.’
“I knew she was right because I felt horrible. I had a hideous hangover. I was 16, so that just felt like I was dying. But by the time I drank again, it was just fun with friends and I didn’t think about any of that.”
Instead, she carried on at college and earned 70-plus college credits before dropping out.
“In college the first time it was just a big party,” she said. “I didn’t have any trouble with the law, except I was probably carrying around illegal substances most of the time.
“I had pretty much no external consequences. The consequences were happening, but they were happening inside me and I didn’t realize it.”
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