I got caught with drugs and guns. I would go full force to somebody’s house, kick in their door and take everything they had even if there were kids there. People who sold my Dad drugs, I hated them. I hated them because I felt like they were killing my Dad right in front of me and they didn’t care that clearly he didn’t need any more of what he was getting but they didn’t care. I remember hating them and then I remember becoming them.
My Dad struggled with alcoholism and that created problems at home. Problems that we weren’t necessarily supposed to talk about because I was also very involved in church, both my parents were. I went to private schools most of my life. Not all of my life, but most of it. I started cutting myself in school, in middle school about eighth grade, sixth or seventh grade, to try to get those feelings out of anger and sadness that I felt about what was going on back at home. The day after I graduated, I moved to North Carolina with my Marine Corp. boyfriend. I wanted away. I was ready to start my own life. I had all these adventures in my head. But we drank and it became violent. As soon as it did, I ran. I packed up all of my stuff and I left because I remembered the way that it was back at home with my Mom. I said to myself; “I’ll never do that.”
I started college. I really didn’t see that going anywhere but when I did start back I did very well. I graduated with my associate degree. Then I got the Hope scholarship to go to the University of Georgia. I thought that I had arrived. I was going to go get my MBA at UGA and I was going to take care of myself and I was never going to need a man and you know, I was unstoppable in my own mind. But I was continuing to drink. I had already been introduced to drugs in high school and I enjoyed them a lot. Cocaine was the first drug that really took over my life. Because I was doing well and I was in college my family fully supported me. My Dad was sober by then so he poured into making sure his daughter had an education and my Mom did too. So I had whatever I wanted financially. I also had a credit card so I would spend money at bars like nobody’s business. I would buy a round for everybody. Once again, I thought I was bulletproof. I would drink. I would party. I would go buy cocaine. I would bring people back to my apartment. We would all do cocaine. That lifestyle eventually cost me my scholarship. When that happened, I felt completely defeated. I felt like my life was going nowhere. I had no career. I had no college now. That was just a very dark place for me. I wound up smoking crack. I went from snorting it to smoking it. I did try to kill myself. I overdosed on a bottle of Tylenol PM. I was very angry when I woke up in the hospital. I ended up moving to a place called Conyers Georgia and going to a halfway house. It wasn’t long, within a couple of weeks to a month that I was introduced to meth. That was a whole different ballgame.
I remember I used to think people who did meth were trashy but people who smoked crack and snorted cocaine were okay if that makes sense. It doesn’t but it did in my mind. So, I didn’t want much to do with it but I did do it because there was no cocaine available. I did do it and as was custom, the man that I was with became violent with me. I started selling drugs at first just to get high. Then I continued selling because I became addicted to the lifestyle. Even as a drug-addicted person I still had some morality until I found meth. Then even that was just gone. I didn’t steal from people who didn’t do drugs but if there was a drug addict that would come and take something from me I would go full force to somebody’s house and kick in their door and take everything they had even if there were kids there. People who sold my dad drugs, I hated them. I hated them because I felt like they were killing my Dad right in front of me and they didn’t care that clearly he didn’t need any more of what he was getting but they didn’t care. I remember hating them and then I remember becoming them. I remember there being kids around and at first it bothered me. You know, like your kids they’ve got to get out of here. And then eventually it quit bothering me that they were there because I didn’t care, I just wanted the money. I wouldn’t mind dying during those times. I didn’t fear death. I didn’t fear much. I feared cops. I feared being arrested which happened a lot. I was in and out of jail. I got caught with drugs and guns. I couldn’t get out. And that’s when God got a hold of me.
When I got to Women at the Well I was unsure of everything. But slowly but surely I started realizing that those people loved me and not just them but God loved me and that He was the one that brought me there. I had never even really fully accepted that a lot of things had happened to me that had happened. So I had to deal with those and I remember praying and I said; “God I want to go drink, I want to use, I don’t want to be here. If you’re going to make me pull up all of this stuff, I am out of here.” Miss Robyn and Miss Steph said; “Go to the prayer closet, give it to God and see what He does with it.” I remember getting on my face and just saying; “Lord, I’m scared. This is not fun. I don’t like this. I don’t want to deal with this but I’m going to give it to you because I don’t know what else to do with it.” And, He was there. I have never felt closer to God as I did during those times that I went through those grief classes and just pulling up things. We do something called “Committed to Freedom” and I felt Him. I don’t always feel Him right next to me, you know, that’s not always how it is. But He seems to know when we really need it. I appreciated that about Him.
Family…God is restoring our relationships. For the first time in a long time, I and my Dad are both sober. He has been sober for twelve years. God’s allowing us to build our relationship back and that’s something that I have wanted since I was a little girl. I have no idea where my future is going but I know that I have a future and it’s not death and it’s not a prison and I have God to thank for that.