Alexandra, 32 years old, Beneficiary of the Individual Counseling & Psychotherapy Service,
Athens Solidarity Center
Alexandra, as introduced to us, wants to talk about the series of events that brought her today to be one of the beneficiaries at the organization’s Solidarity Center in Athens. She strongly believes that her story can motivate others with similar problems with hers to ask for support.
The 32-year-old Alexandra was born and raised in Athens, and for the past 2.5 years she has been the mother of Stelios, her beloved son, for whom she makes every effort – to be healthy, physically and mentally, and to be able to offer him, the best. By “the best” Alexandra means to offer her son a stable and safe family environment.
She herself knows very well how it is for a child not to grow up in a healthy family environment. She found it difficult to find her place in her family, and today she knows that the isolation she felt, led her to mistaken escape options from what made her feel lonely.
She spent many years looking for happiness through the substances, which she describes as “alternative ways of accepting my life as a member of my family.” While the use of substances initially created the illusion of having a new family at her side, it finally showed her brutally that this was the worst isolation.
Alexandra tried hard and managed to escape. She joined a drug rehab program and graduated successfully being certain that “this program was my life-saviour; I would have liked to have gone through this program without being a drug user. This program is good for everyone.”
Α ‘clean’ life
Alexandra moved forward healthy and confident that she wanted to leave behind this past. She narrates her new life using only positive words, and very often while speaking, she thanks her psychologist at the Solidarity Center – “she has taught me to structure my thought, to express myself, what I want and claim for it.”
With her partner and little Stelios’ father, they have common past. Together they decided to live a new ‘clean’ life, as Alexandra says. They left Athens for an island in the Aegean, where they lived beautifully until recently.
Her eyes shine with joy when she says how she managed to get clients on the island. She is a hairdresser and she used her hair to attract other women’s interest – “I painted it pink and other colours and I always combed it with different hairstyles” and so she achieved to create the network of her clients who do not change her with any other hairdresser, as she proudly says.
“I needed support to face my child”
Some time ago, her partner slipped back. Alexandra, knowing that she would never return to her old life, could not accept it. She began to be unable to sleep, to have nightmares, be afraid, but mainly she had no answers to her son’s questions. She immediately asked for help at the Solidarity Center. With the first sessions she understood what she can and cannot do. Alexandra got all the information she needed to know about her child’s protection as well as her own, and she’s ready to make the right decision – “I’ll make it. I feel strong enough to do the best for me and Stelios.” Her psychologist helped to set priorities so as not to allow others to determine her life; her life as a woman and as a mother.
Alexandra, with her strong will, with the love she feels for her son and the love she has eventually found for herself, will make her dreams come true: “My dream is to live by the sea. I want my son to enjoy nature and I… Ι want to cultivate!”
Just at her 32, Alexandra has lived many lives.
Now she lives the one she likes most.
*Alexandra is one of the beneficiaries receiving pro bono services provided to vulnerable population groups (Greeks, refugees and migrants) in the SolidarityNow Athens Solidarity Center. Find more about the Athens Solidarity Center: https://www.solidaritynow.org/en/kentro-allileggiis-athinas/.