Growing up, I came from a great family. My father was a doctor and my mother was on the board of nurses. I have five sisters and three brothers. I am the second to youngest. I was always spoiled.

Everything I ever needed or wanted I would usually get. I wish there was one thing I could tell you why I did drugs or wanted to do drugs. From age 15-18, I was awful. I was disobedient to my family, which was just the beginning to doing drugs at school to being so bad I was sent to juvenile detention center.

I got out on my 18th birthday needing help and not asking for it. My parents sent me to the adolescent Teen Challenge in Newport News, Virginia. This is where I like to say I first encountered God. But it still was not enough. I still had not hit rock bottom.

Being full of pride and rebellion, I was still going to suffer like a child! Daniel 5:20 says: “But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory.”

So, after I graduated the kids Teen Challenge on my 19th birthday, I went back home, which I should not have done. I was hanging out with drug addicts thinking I was “better.” Subconsciously, I was lying to myself.

My father and lawyer always told me you are the same person your four friends are – meaning show me your friends, and I will show you your future.

If you are hanging out with the people with no ambition, no goals, no internal motivation to seek God, you were going to fall flat on your face – which I did. I was introduced to heroin, which just ran with me at the age of 20. I was so miserable, so lonely, so addicted that I would lie to or manipulate everyone to get what I wanted – not caring about the consequences until I went back to jail.

I was your best friend when I would go to jail. I would tell myself anything is better than this! So not long after, my father arranged for me to go to Adult & Teen Challenge in Manchester, Kentucky. It was kind of a surprise; I did not know we were going until we were about an hour away.

Ever since Sept. 14, 2018, I have been sober and renewed my relationships with my family and have had a new beautiful relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ. Now I am a full-time staff member at Chad’s Hope Adult & Teen Challenge. One thing I learned is small compromises have big consequences.