Marilyn’s LifeBuilders Addiction Recovery Story

“Growing up my momma worked hard to give me and my siblings everything we ever needed or wanted. Looking back I know we were poor, but as a kid, my momma never let us feel like we were. She’d work extra shifts and do whatever she could to make sure we were just like everyone else. When my momma passed I was the oldest girl in the family with younger siblings that I needed to be there for. I felt stressed trying to provide for my family and be there for them in the way my momma had. I started drinking to escape my stress and my emotions. The drinking continued to get worse and worse until I got to a point where I just wanted to die.

One morning I woke up and thought, today is the day… I’m going to end my life. That same morning my phone rang and it was my grandbaby. I heard her sweet voice say, “Hi Sweetie! It’s my birthday and I want you to come play but papa said you can’t because you’re not well. I want you to be well Sweetie!” After I hung up the phone I realized if I killed myself that day, my grandbaby would never have a happy birthday again. She wanted me to be well, and I think deep down I did too.

My daughter and ex-husband found out about City Rescue Mission and thought it could help. And it truly did. I found such great love here and genuine support. I learned to open up, stop trying to hide things and to be my true self. Most importantly, while in the LifeBuilders Program I grew closer to the Lord. I realized I needed to stop reaching for the bottle and start reaching towards the Lord. I learned to trust Him. Once God came into my life I decided I wanted to please Him. I changed, or He changed me. I feel like I’ve found my purpose and I actually want to live now.

Now, I work at Recovered Treasures Thrift Store which benefits City Rescue Mission. The job has been such a blessing and therapeutic for me. I always worked in retail, I used to be a personal shopper at major department stores, so I feel like I’m back to my roots and I’m confident in the work I do which is a nice feeling. Last Fall, I was shocked when someone called me and told me that I had been selected as a Be the Change honoree. I couldn’t believe it was real and that someone saw change in me and wanted to encourage me like that. The Be the Change event was such an awesome pick-me-up and moment I didn’t expect. It showed me that if other people care about me enough to treat me to a day like this, I should care about myself. I’m grateful for so many things, but mostly I’m grateful for how God can change all of us, even those of us who feel most lost and too far gone. He is good!