I grew up in a good home and experienced a good childhood. Even though my life felt as if it was smooth sailing and normal for the most part, I deep down had something missing inside of me.

After my parents divorced, I soon entered a stage of rebellion. When I was a freshman in high school, I started lying to my parents, drinking, and occasionally smoking pot in social situations. I never knew at this time that something I saw harmless could eventually turn into life threatening situations later on down the road. Countless times I would get caught doing these things by my parents, get scolded, and as soon as my punishment was over, continue on the same destructive road.

As time went on, I continued to surround myself with the same toxic group of friends and partake in the same toxic behavior, but it started to get worse. At age 17, I tried meth for the first time. I hid this behavior from my parents for as long as I could, but eventually it came out into the open. After using meth a couple times, I was hooked. I never knew that it would grab ahold of me as quickly as it did.

Once I tried meth, any drug was okay in my book because I had tried the worst, so nothing else could hurt me. In my head, I was invincible. There came a time when I grew tired of this life, and I truly did want better for myself, but I could not do it on my own.

At the age of 19, when my addiction was at its climax, I entered into a relationship with a 32- year-old man. At first things were fine, because we were living the “fast life.” Drugs and money were what we were seeking, and I thought it was a great thing because we were doing it together. I thought he cared about me because he would give all the drugs I wanted.

Little did I know, this was making my addiction grow stronger and destroying my physical and mental health. As time went on, this relationship took a very toxic turn. Very often, physical abuse would arise. And very often it felt like life threatening situations. Many times, I was held hostage with no way to get away. Now I know the Lord was watching over me because, by the skin of my teeth, I was always provided a way out. As soon as I would get away from this situation, I would once again get the feeling of loneliness and emptiness. It would not take me long to get bored and make my way back to this man because I knew that if I went back, I could partake in drug use once more.

The addiction was so strong in my life that no kind of abuse or hurt would stop me. For endless nights, my parents and family would lay awake waiting for a call saying that something tragic had happened to me. In May 2016, my family decided that enough was enough. They had to take action to save my life.

Looking for any hope, my family used Casey’s Law, which allows parents, relatives, or friends of an addicted person to lawfully intervene and request involuntary, court-ordered addiction treatment for their addicted loved one. Once it was approved by the judge for me to be in court-ordered rehab, I was devastated because I thought that my life was over.

Little did I know, that my life was just about to begin. I was court ordered 365 days at an in-house rehab. I went to HopeCity in Barbourville on June 2, 2016. When I first entered treatment, I was overwhelmed with anger. I did not see that I had a problem until about 30 to 60 days after entering treatment. After my mind had cleared, I came to know Christ and this changed my life forever. He saved my soul and delivered me from the chains of drug addiction. The empty feeling inside of me that I had tried to fill with drugs and men was my soul longing for what only Christ could give me. Casey’s Law is proof that you do NOT have to want help to get help.

After completing treatment, I returned back to cosmetology school and got my cosmetologist license in March 2018. Coming to know the Lord had made me into someone that I never had been. I am thankful that the Lord restored my mind and allowed me to return to a normal life without drugs. I was employed at a nail salon in Albany until July 2018 and then decided to return to Barbourville to work at Hope City.

I currently am taking online classes to achieve a degree in the counseling field. I am also currently an adult peer support specialist. My job is to help guide ladies addicted to drugs like I used to be and to show them the love of Christ daily. I am here to show them that, through Christ, we can have an abundance of life, and to show them that their worth goes far beyond a life of drugs and unhappiness.

I am very thankful for Operation UNITE for allowing me to complete the program at Hope City. At Hope City, I have made lifelong friends that are as dear to me as family. I have conquered drug addiction and learned many things that will help me in life. But most importantly without Operation UNITE and Hope City, I would have never met the Lord. Without him, my story would have no count and I would be nothing. I was not strong enough to kick drug addiction on my own, but through Christ, I can do all things!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13