I struggled with addiction since I was 8 or 9 years old. My grandmother, who was a bootlegger, raised me so I was in the house with alcohol as long as I can remember. I started sneaking drinks and no one realized what I was doing. Because of the influence of my godparents, I knew about Jesus at an early age. Through them, I was exposed to Christianity and knew the bible. I was a faithful Christian, but after the addiction set in, first with alcohol and then with drugs, I began running from the church.
After I had children, I was in denial that I was an addict. Since I wasn’t the kind of person that needed a drink as soon as I woke up in the morning, I didn’t think I was addicted. I realized that I was putting drugs ahead of my children, so I got clean in 1997 from drugs and alcohol. As a single parent, my children were my focus. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to raise them and be in their lives. After a tragic event in 2006, resulting in the loss of my son, I relapsed and received a large sum of money in a lawsuit. This allowed me to purchase a house for my family, but I wasn’t able to even live there. At the same time, I had warrants for my arrest due to my addiction, so I was on the run from the police. My family had to intervene and took my children in with them. My desire was to be with my children.
One day, I was talking to a friend that had been through the program at City Rescue Mission. He and I started discussing my situation and he said, “I know somewhere that you can go to get help.” I was first introduced to the Mission in 2009. After talking with him, I decided to enter the program. I arrived at New Life Inn and was moved to the McDuff Campus to enter the LifeBuilders Program. As I was waiting, I decided that I wanted to leave because I didn’t want to walk away from what I was used to. I spoke with one of the counselors and she told me that if I gave the Mission one night, I would want to stay and complete the program. That’s exactly what happened.
Entering the Mission made me take a closer look at myself. I realized that addiction makes you self-centered. It’s selfish to be on drugs and not take care of your family. CRM took me back to the place that I knew in God. We had church every night and it took me back to what I knew. The self-evaluation tools that I learned help me to this day. I’m always aware of myself – what I’m doing, what my motives are. I see myself clearly now.
I now have a beautiful relationship with my children. It’s better than I could have ever imagined. I thank City Rescue Mission for being Christian-based and for giving me the truth when I didn’t like it. I know that other people are struggling, and I always promote the City Rescue Mission.
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