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Success Story


The Early Years And Beyond

Four years ago yesterday (10/6/15) I stepped outside the door of my dope man house. I had just woken up from crashing after a 5 day binge. I sat down on the front stoop and lite my cigarette. Even though I had just woke up, I was already planning my day on how I could get more money for more drugs. At that point in my life I was living at a drug house, I had left home, I had left my daughter and had even spoken to her in weeks.

Being high was the only thing that helped me forget about all the pain I lived in…the pain I had caused my family, my daughter and myself. My life was in complete darkness. I had accepted the fact that I was a drug addict and I choose to live my life living up to that fact. I hated who I was and knew I would die in my addiction. I was full of fear and hopelessness and didn’t think I would ever make it out. I could not comprehend what it would be like to live a life clean and sober. So as I on that front stoop, plotting who I would steal from or what hustle I could come up with from get the money for my next fix…a brown sheriff’s car pulled in the driveway. The sheriff that stepped out the vehicle I knew him immediately because he had picked me up a few times before.

I asked him….who are you here for…he said you Michelle I took another hit off my cigarette and just put it out. I didn’t run – I took a deep breath and said ok. For the first time in my life – I didn’t fight. I didn’t make any excuses…I knew the only other option for me was death.

At 31 years old I sat in the back of that Henry County Sheriff car completely defeated. I had hit my rock bottom…there was absolutely no where I could go – nothing I could do and I was sick and tired of fighting every day of my life. I know that day – was the day that I gave up my old life – in hopes to find a new one.

I Would Like Help

The Road To Recovery

I don’t even know how long I sat in Henry County Jail – all I knew was that when I left – I went to Shining Light Recovery Home for Women. There from the first day I was 100% in. I would not let this opportunity slip through my hands – not again. You see 3 years prior to that I completed a 12 month residential program – but when I left there I ran so far from recovery, I started drinking just 3 months after I left and eventually became the iv drug user I was before being picked up this time.

I had learned the tools but never applied them – so at this residential program I was going to apply what they taught me. I didn’t care was going on around me because this chance was the only chance I had to make it out.

At shining light – I learned so many things – from our individual counseling to group counseling to MRT and relapse prevention. Everything I was taught I tried my hardest to live by. We attended AA/NA meetings – I worked my steps with a sponsor and we had bible studies 2-3 times a week. Those bible studies where just as important to my recovery as the Individual counseling and MRT. They taught me how to build a relationship with a loving God, that despite the many times I failed him, he never gave up on me.

I graduated from Shining Light Recovery Home for Women on Jan 2nd 2013…I will never forget the first day I got my daughter ready for school. It had been almost 18 months since I had gotten her ready for school and probably the first time in years I had ever done it sober. The relationship with my daughter has been the hardest to restore but now every day I can see our relationship growing stronger and stronger.

The Difference At Shining Light

Since I have graduated from Shining Light Recovery Home for Women

  • The relationships with my family have been restored
  • I serve my community faithfully and with all my heart
  • I sit on the Board of Directors for Shining Light and host fund-raising events.
    This last one brought in over $16,000
  • About a year ago with the support and encouragement of those that believe
    in me I took over ownership of the local television station and am now able to
    use the television platform to share about the amazing things in our
    community ( which makes me think, why didn’t I bring a camera today)
  • They named me a deacon at my church – and the first female one I might
    add! (When I told the head of deacons thank you for asking me to serve in
    this way he said…it wasn’t me God did it!)
  • Elected by peers for the 2016 class of leadership henry

You see my name is Michelle Amarra and I am a recovery drug addict BUT my story doesn’t end there.

Today I am a mother, a friend, a small business owner, I serve my community and think of others before I think of myself. My heart if full of gratitude when I think about the hopelessness I lived in 4 years ago…

Because if it wasn’t for my family that called the cops on me when I stole from them, if it wasn’t for the numerous times that I went in out and out jail from violating my probation over and over again, if it wasn’t for the Judge that gave me a chance at recovery instead of sending me to prison for 5 years, if it wasn’t for the staff at Shining Light Recover Home for Women, if it wasn’t for the people that gave me chance when I was trying to start my life over… again, if it wasn’t for a God that gave me a another chance when I didn’t deserve it…

If it wasn’t for every part of this story, I would not be who I am today. I am no longer ashamed to be an addict.

If you don’t know the darkness of my past then you could never see the fullest of what God has done in my life #recoveryispossible