Full Circle

By Julie Alpaugh, Clarke Central HS (Athens, Georgia)

Tammarria Mitchell hates herself.

Hates herself as she walks through the doors of Transitions.

She wants to walk out.

But something makes her stay at the homeless recovery center. She’s ready to turn her life around.

Ready to stop being a drug abuser.

Ready to face her reflection in the mirror.


At first, Tammarria finds it hard to accept help from her assigned case manager.

But she doesn’t want to be high anymore.

And her faith is pushing her to come clean.

“Had (my case manager) not been there to tell me about myself and tell me the things I needed to work on, I would probably still be out there.”

Her case manager says Tammarria needs to look at herself in a different light. Needs to do something she thought she could never do — love herself.

“Look in the mirror every day,” her case manager tells her. “Tell your reflection how much you love yourself.”

“But what will I see? ” Tammarria asks.

“You will see something more.”

Day 1: She looks in the mirror.

“I love you so much.”

Day 2: She looks in the mirror.  

“I love you so much.”

Day 3: She looks in the mirror.  

“I love you so much.”


Now, after five years, Tammarria says the words with confidence.

They are the truth.

The love she has for herself helps her see the love in others.

Now when clients enter the Transitions Day Center, her face greets them.

She’s come full circle.

“God opened another door for me to come back to the place I stayed at to give back the love that was given to me.”

A homeless woman who once thought she had no opportunities finds herself working three jobs.

She knows she must have time for herself, must cut back to two jobs.

She’s learned to look in the mirror. Look in the mirror and say, “I love you so much.”

“You know, God has really blessed me and now I tell my story, but Transitions has given me back my life,” Tammarria says. “I found out who I was and that today I don’t have to use drugs or go back.”

Tammarria has been clean for five years and only plans to grow as a person.


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