My name is Grace and I am 25 years old. I was born and raised in the south side of Chicago. My parents got divorced when I was 12 years old and it really affected me. I was very upset and sad that I had to be in the middle of my parent’s separation. As I got older I continued to carry this anger and darkness that followed me.
I started using marijuana during high school to ease my pain. After graduating high school I started college and began living the party life. I met a group of new friends who introduced me to Xanax and it completely took over my life. It was a high that I enjoyed. My life started slipping and in November of 2011 I found out I was pregnant. I was so afraid because I knew I was bringing a baby into a relationship that was dead.
On July 23, 2012 I had my son, Matthew. I was filled with joy and happiness but I was overwhelmed with the many issues I was going to have to face. When Matthew was 6 months old I was served court papers and my world came crashing down. It was such a difficult battle and I felt powerless when I got granted joint custody. I was disappointed in myself and felt like I failed as a mother. I didn’t know who I was anymore and in all honestly I didn’t care to live. In January of 2016 I was introduced to heroin. I overdosed many times and remember waking up in the hospital ashamed of being alive.
My mother found out about Teen Challenge through a friend and told me that I needed to go in order for me to have a relationship with my son. In February I decided to come to Teen Challenge hoping to change my life. I came in with a mind set of doing the program for only 6 months and I did. During my time here I was very quiet about my issues. I was embarrassed of opening up and having to face my problems sober.
In July I left the program determined to be a mother to my son. Within 2 weeks I relapsed and lost my family and most importantly, I lost my relationship with Jesus. I couldn’t believe I failed as a mother again. This was my lowest point in life.
I was on my own and it hurt to know that my family no longer supported me or even wanted a relationship with me. I fell to my knees and asked the Lord to help me. I knew I could no longer live this life. When I walked back in through the doors of Teen challenge, I knew this is where the Lord wanted me to be.
My journey here has been difficult but one of the best things I have ever done. He’s give me the freedom and the endurance to persevere. I am so grateful to know that I am a child of God. Jesus has restored me and renewed my mind. I’m very excited to see what the Lord has planned for me and I’m open to receive his promises.
I was tired of getting high. I wanted to stop but didn’t know how. I decided to go to the Mental Health Complex because I knew it was a safe place where I could get help. There, a priest told me that Jesus was the only one that could help me. He told me about Teen Challenge.
During this last year the Lord has helped me immensely. I am rebuilding my life in Christ. I graduated last month and will be entering Brooklyn Teen Challenge School of Ministry in October. Thank you for supporting Teen Challenge Wisconsin! Your support helps those struggling with addiction find freedom.
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