One Woman’s Journey: Tania Margate
Tania Margate didn’t know why the woman had decided to end her life or why she decided to jump in front of Tania’s car. Tania assisted with CPR but was unable to save the woman. It was one more trauma that sent Tania further down a path of drug use. At the time she was a new nurse. She began working long days and scheduling her shifts so she would have two to three days off--enough time so she could continue to use drugs and still work. She eventually lost her job, was reported to the Maine State Board of Nursing as a danger to patients, had a series of arrests and was in and out of jail. Her boyfriend at the time was in jail, and she was living in his apartment with no heat or electricity. She would spend hours bent over a candle to use. “I was using against my will, and calling 211 at the same time pleading for help.” recalls Tania.
One day, out of the blue, an ex-boyfriend called and offered to help her get clean. “It was a godsend,” recalls Tania. While she continued to use “lighter drugs,” she eventually was placed into the Crossroads for Women 28 day program, followed by Mercy’s Recovery Center Outpatient Program. She then lived at a Crossroads half-way house. As Tania tells it, “While that was all good, once you get out, you are dumped into the community with no help and ask yourself, ‘now what?’ You are expected to find a job, manage your home life, your finances, your hobbies and stay clean.”
In October 2013, she was accepted into the McAuley Residence program where she spent almost two years. Tania says with much pride, “the Sisters of Mercy have saved my life twice. First when my mother enrolled me at Catherine McAuley High School, and now as a graduate of the McAuley Residence program.”
Today she is grounded and has learned techniques to interact with others and maturely cope with life’s challenges. She can share her experiences, her strengths, and her hopes with other women at McAuley Residence. She is employed as an assistant manager at Maine Paint and is working towards re-establishing her financial credit so that she may go back to school. She plans to appeal to the Maine State Board of Nursing to reinstate her license and one-day return to nursing. She is also enrolled in the Maine Professional Monitoring Program where she must do a random monthly drug test. Her long-range goal is to study acupuncture so that she can help people with addiction and the elderly manage pain without medication.
To give back, Tania volunteers once a week at McAuley Residence helping the women with basic cooking skills. “This fills my bucket,” she says.