The vodka started when she was eight years old. A young Blossem Burciaga had her first taste of the alcohol and quickly discovered that it numbed the internal pain she was feeling.
Her alcohol dependency went on for nearly three decades, which led to losing her home and custody of her four kids.
“I was drinking about a fifth of vodka every day,” said Burciaga. “I was homeless at the time. My aunt had to watch my children because I wasn’t fit to take care of them. My dependency with vodka grew so extreme that I would physically get sick if I didn’t drink.”
At age 17, Burciaga began to seek help to treat her addiction. After multiple relapses and a few near death experiences, her life turned around when she met Karen Eubanks, director of Faith Living Recovery Home in Turlock.
“I’ve been in and out of programs my whole life,” said Burciaga. "I met Karen in my last program; she was my bus driver. If it hadn’t been for her efforts, I would not be alive.”
Burciaga was admitted to the Faith Living Recovery Home, a sober living facility that focuses on spiritual development and a productive lifestyle, in April.
“The program was very difficult for me at first,” said Burciaga. “I was not used to listening to other people or taking direction by anyone in power. When I finally surrendered and accepted God into my life I began to get better. I learned to set boundaries with people; I’ve learned to control my anger and to talk things out instead of tearing people down. But most importantly, I learned important life skills that I will carry on with me for the rest of my life.”
Residents at Faith Living Home are required to attend three to five 12-Step meetings per week, church services and recovery groups.
“Women are offered the opportunity to gain insight into their problems while acquiring self-respect and developing moral and spiritual principles,” said Eubanks. “They are encouraged to develop multiple levels of support through counselors, spiritual groups, community agencies, and job skill opportunities. Our primary purpose is to share love and to instill God's love. We seek to help and teach life skills that will enable them to live meaningful and productive lives for themselves and their families.”
After being eight months sober, Burciaga has a new outlook on life. She has won the respect and devotion of her children and is currently enrolled in classes to become a certified drug and alcohol counselor.
“The classes are teaching me a lot about the addiction process,” said Burciaga. “I’m also learning more about myself, which will benefit me in the long run in helping other people with their addiction.”
There are currently eight women and an infant living at FLRH. Eubanks said that it has become difficult to supply her clients with the basic amenities.
“We collect cans throughout the entire year,” says Eubanks. “We cash in our cans to get our basic toiletry items. We are in need of cleaning supplies, blankets, and diapers for the children that are living here. We are also in need of a computer to help these women in search for jobs. Any donation at the FLRH goes to helping these women live a productive and sober life for them and their families.”
To make a donation, contact Karen Eubanks at 622-6987.