“When I was two years old my parents got divorced, leaving my mother to raise me and my older brother on her own. My mother was one of the most loving parents a child could ever ask for but she could not be in all places at all times. When I got into high school I started using drugs. When I started doing pain killers my life began to spiral out of control. I started stealing money from my family in order to support my habit. Things finally came to a head when I got caught stealing money from my grandmother’s purse. Once my family found out I broke down and came clean about everything.
In order to get away, I joined the military and shipped out to the other side of the country. I spent seven years away and free of drugs until my brother died. He overdosed on painkillers in my bedroom back at my parents’ house. When this happened my entire life started to unravel. I started drinking to shut out my pain, and I soon lost my fiancé, so I packed up and moved back to California.
When I got home I started doing pain killers again. I started doing the same thing that killed my brother and I was doing it right in front of my parents. In the six month period in between returning home to when I entered Teen Challenge, I managed to steal around fifteen thousand dollars from family and friends in order to support my habit. Things got so bad that my parents politely ‘nudged’ me into Teen Challenge on October 16th, 2015.
When I came into the program I did not want to be there. I felt rejected and abandoned. Two days later I gave my life to God. Since that moment nothing has been the same. The vast majority of my relationships have been restored or are in the process of healing. I have received grace and forgiveness on a level that I will never deserve. I have been blessed with a job where my past is not held against me. God is just so good, there is no other power in existence that could piece back together a life like mine. My sincere gratitude goes to everyone who supported me in my greatest time of need.”