I grew up in a normal and healthy family. There were no problems with alcohol or drugs. I started drinking occasionally on the weekends in high school. During my twenties and thirties, I drank socially.

I was 35 years old when I had my only son, Joseph. My problems started when I was taking Joseph to the bus stop. I fell down a flight stairs and was unconscious. I had been drinking the night before. Joseph was 7 at the time and knocked on a neighbor’s door. I was hospitalized.

Seeing the keys in my hand, the police assumed I was going to drive Joseph to school. Therefore DCFS came into my life. My mom was able to get custody (foster parents) of Joseph. I began a cycle of treatment programs, aftercare, AA meetings and DCFS involvement.

My drinking got worse. I was a functioning alcoholic. It was part of my everyday life. My sister knew someone who went through Teen Challenge and suggested I go. I decided to give it a try. I arrived on August 3, 2016 and realized that this was a faith-based program and I would need to make a one year commitment to myself, God and the Bible. A couple of days went by and that is when I started to realize I do have a life-controlling problem that I cannot handle on my own.

I struggle with sorrow in my heart when I think of all those times I spent with Joseph and I had to rush home to have that drink. I lost much time and much of his life because of my addiction. I didn’t get a chance to see his laughter or wipe his tears. I thank God that he kept Joseph warm, safe and loved under all the wings of His angels.

Today, I am completely sober through my own will and faith. Jesus wants to do so much for me in my life and all I have to do is love, pray and follow him. He gives me wisdom, knowledge and strength to believe, so I can continue on my journey to the life He has planned for me.

Laurie has accepted an internship with Teen Challenge and will be working at SuperThrift.

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