WACO, Texas — When you walk inside Union Hall in Waco and walk towards the back left corner of the bustling business food hall you'll find UnSHAKEable Milkshakes, a milkshake stand with purpose.
"I can't even imagine feeling the way I did four years ago," said Natasha Scheibe, the General Manager of UnSHAKEable.
Scheibe has been clean and sober from drug and alcohol addiction for almost four years now, a life she's removed herself from but hasn't forgotten.
"When I drank, I was able to breathe," Scheibe explained. "Normal people can walk around on this earth and get up and pay their bills and go to work and for me, I had to get up and drink before I could even brush my teeth."
Scheibe isn't shy about sharing her story because she knows it can help to change lives, just like the small milkshake stand she helps run that benefits Sunshine Recovery House in Waco.
The Sunshine Recovery House offers the stability needed for women struggling with addiction and provides a place to live and find the freedom they've lost to addiction.
"We provide a safe place to recover for women coming out of treatment and jail," said Jennifer Tobin, the Executive Director of Sunshine Recovery House. "Women are required to go to 90 meetings in 90 days, do chores, come to a house meeting and work their steps in the 12-step program."
Tobin said the house is vital for women because it offers a place away from addiction and creates an environment conducive to finding freedom from a vicious cycle that doesn't end.
"If they go back to the place they were using in they will go back to the friends, back to the habits, back to the environment they were in and they will use again," Tobin said.
Scheibe told 6 News she lost her children when her then-husband was done trying to help her get clean when she wasn't helping herself. He took their kids away from her and didn't allow her to talk to them and that's when she knew she needed to get right and find a way to break away from the bottle.
"It's horrible because you wake up and you don't want to drink, you say that you aren't going to drink and then you pick up the bottle and you take a drink," Scheibe said. "That's so dangerous because you drink and you drive with the kids in the car and there are so many risks involved."
With her children taken from her, Scheibe was alone and needed to pick herself up by the bootstraps and find a way to get right with herself so she could rebuild the relationships with her children. She said she'll never forget her first day she walked into Sunshine Recovery House in Waco.
"I walked into this house and it was a three bedroom rental and at the time there was one female resident and no one was home, I remember that," she said. "I walked in and I was terrified because I have never been on my own. I've never been responsible for anything in my life by myself and when I walked in there was a refrigerator, there was a television, blankets on the couch."
Scheibe said she found a bed to sit on and created her own space for the first time in her life. She put pictures on the wall and had a place to put her clothes, including a closet to hang her dresses.
With all that was in front of her in that moment, Scheibe said she still wasn't sure if she would be able to get sober for the first time in her life, but somehow, through God's grace, she did.
"Luckily, I grabbed hold of the 12-step program and I started creating a fellowship among the women in the house and the people in Waco that were recovered and I learned from them how to pay my bills on time, as ridiculous as that sounds," she said.
Scheibe said for the first time in her life she had a drivers license that matched the address she lived at and she learned more each day about being accountable to both herself and the house she lived at and the people that she forged relationships with. Curfews, random drug tests, daily meeting and being on-time were all things she learned and she did it all to get her kids back and become a contributing member of society.
"They may seem like every day things but for me it was a miracle," Scheibe said with a smile. "The kids started coming back into my life and I was able to be a Mom. I parked my car in a parent pick up line, I was 39 years old and had never been in a parent pick up line because I was too drunk to pick up my kids from school. It's really amazing that these little tiny everyday feats, I've been able to do them and thrive."
Nearly four years later, you'll find Scheibe hard at work behind the counter at UnSHAKEable Milkshakes at Union Hall. The one-time alcoholic now spends her time whipping up some incredible treats with a purpose and doing so with other women getting clean and sober.
UnSHAKEable Milkshakes isn't just a place to work, it's a place to recover and teach those who need it, maybe more than anyone else, there's more to life than just drugs and alcohol while wondering where you'll sleep when the sun goes down.
"It doesn't have to be like that," Scheibe said, when asked her message to women and men who may be feeling hopeless in the face of addiction. "We can get our children back, we can pay our bills on time and we can have fruitful careers and help the community around us."
If you or someone you know if struggling with addiction, please contact the Sunshine Recovery House at (254) 307-2732 or you can send them an e-mail as well.