Written by CCC Member, Christina:
I’ve struggled with being addicted to drugs and alcohol throughout my life. I’ve used cocaine, crack, meth, heroin, different pills and just about anything that would alter my state of mind. I feel like I ran from reality and everyday responsibilities. I remember turning my back on my three children and my family. When I couldn’t pay for drugs and the lifestyle that I chose to live, I sold my body for money. On top of all that, I’ve been to prison five times because of drugs and have a bad felony record from these poor decisions.
After 25 years of abusing drugs and living like I was, I felt that I needed a change in my life because I really felt like I was killing myself slowly. I felt I had a hole inside of me that drugs could no longer fill. I felt depressed, I unworthy and even though people were all around me, I felt lonely. And because I left my children to be raised by my father and step-mother, I had lots of guilt and shame. I tried substituting one drug for the other to try to me feel better, thinking that that was what I needed to do. It didn’t work.
I finally reached out to my family, thinking that that would help me. I didn’t get much of a response at first so I kept trying. I finally got a response from my brother. I remember lying to him, telling him that I was now clean. I just needed something in my life to make me feel better so I was willing to do whatever it cost. I remember the end of our first talk when he ended the conversation by asking, “Do you ever pray to God?” I was a little thrown off by the question but my answer was “No, I don’t” He told me to think about it and that we would talk again soon.
But I just kept getting high like I was used to doing. One day shortly after I talked to my brother, I got a call from my sister. She said that if I’d think about going to church with them, they’d love to have me involved in their lives again. So, I went with them to Christ Community Chapel and when I walked in the doors lightening did not strike and I felt no judgment from anyone. I thought, there may be hope for this drug-addicted, unworthy girl after all. I also remember the message I heard during the church service was that God forgives all sins.
Good news travels fast because right after that I got a call from my mom, who I haven’t seen in 20 yrs. We set up a time to meet and I was so anxious that I got high, not knowing how to deal with my nerves. That day, I smoked marijuana that was laced with fentanyl and I stopped breathing. I ended up in ICU for 4 days on life-support. When I woke up 4 days later, my family was there praying for me alongside a woman from CCC.
They said I was a miracle! Not this girl, I thought. I knew in my heart that God saved my life and I accepted Jesus in my heart that day. My mom brought me home to her house after a week in the hospital. I never went back to the placed I was living because people can’t get better in the same place that they get sick. I went home on a Friday and that Sunday morning I went to CCC. I sat there and just cried to God because he saved my life for some reason that I didn’t know why. I was grateful and thankful that he did and that I was with my family again, where I belonged.
My story wasn’t over. I heard about Celebrate Recovery and a meeting called Courage to Change. I went to that Monday night group. I felt welcomed and people told me that they were glad to see me there. Courage to Change is a faith-based, 12 step program based on biblical principles. In these meetings, I heard that we’re all broken people trying to get better through Christ Jesus. I knew that I was broken, so I felt I definitely belonged with these people. I partnered with somebody for accountability and we worked through the 12 steps every week before our meetings. I started working on my thoughts and day-to-day decisions. God and Courage to Change gave me what I needed to transform my life and restore the broken relationships with the people I love. I have been clean of drugs for over a year now. I also have my family back in my life, I am restoring relationships with my children, I have a real job after not working for over 10 years, and I have a relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
So, I was saved by God, I was given hope, I am forgiven, I have a new found life in Jesus Christ, and now I have Courage to Change. The hole that I talked about earlier has been filled with God, love, and happiness. Courage to Change is for any addiction, not just drug addiction. Or even if you are having problems with life. I can say that Courage to Change can help because it has saved my life.
Brokenness can wear a variety of masks, like depression, addiction to gambling, drug usage, and anger to name a few – and it can capture anyone. If you feel trapped, know that you’re not alone and that God has more in store for your life. It takes real courage to seek out recovery, but God will meet you there. Come to check out Courage to Change, a support group that meets every Monday at 7 p.m. at The Block (5374 Darrow Rd, Hudson, OH 44236), where we open up about our personal struggles (we all have them) and provides a framework to work through them. No need to register for Courage to Change – just show up. If you have questions, contact [email protected] or learn more about our support groups at Care & Support.