The Early Years And Beyond
My name is Jessica I am 27 years old. My earliest memories are of times when I felt out of place and not good enough. There was always a huge hole in my heart that I attempted to fill with anything at my disposal. Alcoholism runs in my family and I truly believe this is a genetic disease. From an early age I learned that if you took a drink when you were tired, angry, afraid, or sad you would feel better. I always remember wishing for an escape from reality. In middle school I discovered drugs and alcohol and I fell in love with the oblivion I felt when I took a drink or a drug. I was instantly addicted to the chaotic lifestyle.
I Would Like Help
The Road To Recovery
Throughout high school I used every drug I could get my hands on. I was in my first treatment facility when I was 16. In the past decade I have been hospitalized countless times for drug overdoses and suicide attempts. Around the age of 19 I learned how to manipulate doctors and I became physically addicted to pain medication, Xanax and Adderall. I began using drugs against my own will just to fight off withdrawals. By age 23, I was having seizures regularly from Xanax withdrawal. I found out that heroin was much cheaper and more effective than pain medication so I began injecting heroin intravenously daily. I got to the point where on an average day I would use heroin, Xanax, cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol just to keep myself from becoming physically ill. I have attempted to take methadone and Suboxone to get clean but I only fell deeper into addiction because I did not do anything about my real problem. I was in a relationship with a drug dealer who was physically and verbally abusive. I have been raped multiple times and robbed at gunpoint. I became so desperate that I would sleep with men to get what I needed to survive. I had an abortion when I was 5-months pregnant and I never believed I could be forgiven for this. I continued to use drugs to mask my tortuous shame.
In January 2015, I overdosed on heroin and stopped breathing. I was brought back to life by paramedics and when I woke up I was actually disappointed that I was still alive. My mother once asked me what kind of flowers I wanted at my funeral because she knew I would be dead if I kept living this way.
The Difference At Shining Light
I now know I would be dead if it were not for Teresa Bestwick, Shining Light Ministries, God, and Narcotics Anonymous. I came to Shining Light August 10, 2015 with nothing. I had spent every dime I had ever had chasing something that I could never attain. I had no hope. All I had was shame and self-condemnation. While at Shining Light I gave my life to God. I embraced his Grace and Mercy. I got to know myself for the first time. I discovered that I am not my mistakes, I am a survivor and a victor and I never have to use drugs or alcohol ever again. I now experience freedom and deliverance from active addiction. I have a sense of peace and serenity that no drug could ever give me. I take care of myself today and love the person that I am becoming. I know that God forgives me for everything I’ve done even on the days that I don’t forgive myself. This program has given me a life that I never had and never thought I would have. I tell my story only to be a testament to God’s grace. Recovery is possible.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthews 11:28