Nazia, Maguire Fellow in Dallas

Nazia is a graduate student in medical anthropology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. She was awarded a Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellowship for summer 2014 from the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at SMU. She is conducting research with Nexus Recovery in Dallas.

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I am woman, hear me roar

As I’m coming to the conclusion of my fellowship, I am growing increasingly attached to Nexus and the people there. However, I am grateful my time does not end here. I will be continuing my research beyond the fellowship, and I am thankful for the opportunity to find my passion among the narratives of these women.

I have learned more about myself and what it means for me to be a woman in the past couple months than I have thus far in my adult life. I have learned all kinds of interpersonal skills and coping skills from listening to anecdotes and the counselors’ classes. The lessons I learn from the stories that get exchanged in group therapies, in the hallways, and in the dorms both in public and in private are unmatched by anything I have gathered over the years.

The societal definitions of being a woman and mother are challenged by the women at Nexus, which is a great thing for women all over. Being in treatment is generally seen as something bad, that you have failed as a mother or woman or person. However, the progress and quick resilience shown by these women prove that they have not only beaten the odds but also come out on the other side as a stronger woman, mother, and participant of our society.

Nexus is proof that a center such as itself not only works but is crucial to the cornerstone of our community’s success. They have told me that we may fail and fail repeatedly, but persistence pays off. Narcotics Anonymous teaches that “we accept responsibility for our problems and see that we’re equally responsible for our solutions.” This quote rings true for the women at Nexus. They step up to the plate ready to conquer their own mistakes and lay out solutions that work for themselves and their children. This is true not just for their recovery, but also for their health care, their desire to succeed, and their role as a mother or wife or partner.

I am thankful to these women for allowing me to be a part of their lives and to continue the dialogue between them and those who do not understand.

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