Before I entered the program my life was in complete disarray.  I was hurt, broken, angry, and I was addicted to drugs and alcohol.  I was born and raised in Grand Island, Nebraska. I had a great family. Everything seemed wonderful from the outside looking in, but that wasn’t the case.  I can remember being extremely depressed as young as age seven. At age twelve, I was sexually attacked by an older boy.  My mind was full of confusion. I didn’t understand why it happened to me. I felt disgusting and I was too ashamed to tell anyone. As a result of that incident, l developed an
eating disorder that I struggled with for the next seven years.

When I was fourteen, my family moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma. l thought it could be a new beginning but the hurt within me just grew deeper and stronger. I was mad at God for the things He had allowed to happen in my life.  At fifteen, I started smoking cigarettes and occasionally drinking alcohol.  Soon, I was popping pills, drinking and smoking pot daily. l hated God. l hated myself. I just didn’t care anymore. 

My Dad was transferred to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin when l turned seventeen. I started drinking more heavily and I would disappear from my home for days at a time.
Half way through my junior year of high school, I dropped out, bought a ticket and left Fond du Lac on a Greyhound bus back to my hometown of Grand Island, Nebraska.

Within two weeks of arriving in Nebraska, I was smoking crank (methamphetamine). I lived from place to place. At one time I was living in the shallow end of a drained swimming pool. I
couldn’t stand it anymore so I called my parents and told them I would get help. Of course, I never did.

My grandparents let me move in with them and I did well for a while. I started dating a guy who used and I started up again worse than when I left off. I was using crystal meth. I turned
into someone I didn’t even know. I hated my own reflection. When I first started doing drugs I did them to escape reality but before I knew it, doing drugs was my reality.
I lived the way I wanted to until I figured out if I kept living the way I was living it wouldn’t be long before I was dead. I called my parents and said I would do whatever it took to get help. A
week after that I was on a plane on my way to Teen Challenge.

My life has completely changed as a result of being in this program. I used to wake up and sob because I didn’t want to live. Now I wake up and thank the Lord for the life He has given
me! I don’t deseNe God’s forgiveness but He gave it to me anyway. I am not afraid of where my life will go from there because I know God has an awesome plan for me.
I am excited to see what is in store for me after I finish second phase in Columbus, Georgia.  I am grateful to God and thankful for the Teen Challenge program. If I hadn’t come to Teen
Challenge, I don’t want to think about where I would be.