Just over a year ago, one Fort Yates native would tell you drinking and doing drugs was just the norm.
KX News first met Chelsea Luger in November, just a few months into her road to recovery. Back then, she wasn’t sure she could do it.
Well, a lot has changed since then.
Days ago, Chelsea was able to move out of Hope Manor Sober Living to a home of her very own.
“20 years, you know, of using…and I don’t think I was even ready to be done yet. I think deep down inside, I still wanted to keep doing what I was doing. And even though I wouldn’t admit that out loud, I know that the reservation was there,” she shared.
But the longing to see her kids and be a mother to them once again kept her on the road to recovery.
“Giving them…you know, the love that they need, that they deserve,” Chelsea added.
Through tears, Chelsea’s 10-year-old daughter, Dawson Luger shared, “Every time when I get alone or something, I just pray for…to God, that she would stop doing these things, and I hope that we can live together and that she would never do it again.”
For Chelsea’s kids, Dawson, Shy (11), and Gaige (3), it’s their first day in their new home, reunited as a family.
“I get to have my own room,” Dawson shared excitedly.
But even after being sober for a year, the uphill battle continued for Chelsea. She got turned down time and time again while applying to rent a home for the four of them.
“I was on the phone and I had my little notebook and I’d be writing down these numbers, writing down the month’s rent and the deposit, and then I’d cross it off because they said, ‘No’, or because they don’t accept people with felonies,” she explained.
Then, there was a glimmer of hope.
“I had just enough pieces of paper on my notebook that I could call one more place, so I was looking online and stuff, and I found this house,” Chelsea said. “And the owner of the house wanted to meet me, so we met and we talked. She had never rented to a person with a background like mine before. You know, so that was a miracle. That alone was like, ‘She’s going to give me a chance’, you know?”
Chelsea is seeing those all around her regain their trust in her: her mom, her kids and her probation officer.
“About a month ago or so she said to me, ‘I trust you’, and that was a lot. And it’s just really cool what being sober and being in recovery and actually changing your life; and changing the way you see people and changing the way you see the world, how much it can change your life,” she shared.
Come Aug. 2, Chelsea will be finished with supervised probation, and done cycling through the system for the first time in 15 years.
She says she’s confident in her recovery, knowing there’s a group of women at Hope Manor who will have her back, and support her from here on out.