I always felt really insecure and shy and I cared too much about what other people thought of me. I drank for the first time when I was 15 and I loved it. It gave me confidence that I never had before. My whole world changed after my parent’s divorce. I started rebelling without my dad around and I could do pretty much whatever I wanted. I started using cocaine everyday and I got in some trouble at school but by the grace of God I somehow graduated. I met my future husband when I turned 18 and we used drugs together right from the beginning. I started shooting Dilaudid when I was 19. I became addicted very quickly. At this time I really didn’t want to be doing what I was doing but I didn’t know how to stop. We used off and on for about two years until the day I found out I was pregnant. I thought that pregnancy was my way out. When my son was 6 months old I started taking pain pills again along with other medications for depression, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. I was so medicated all the time that I couldn’t even recognize that I was destroying my life. That same year I was introduced to heroin and my addiction spiraled out of control. I tried to quit many times but I just couldn’t stop. I couldn’t pass a drug test so my mother-in-law received custody of our son. I was crushed. That was the moment that I knew I had to do something and I had to do it fast. After detox treatment, I relapsed several times over that next year. I had no idea that the one thing I was missing in my life that I needed the most was God. I found myself back on heroin, my husband was in jail, and I didn’t have a place to live. My husband’s family told me they would help me but I had to go to Teen Challenge. I was desperate and I needed help. I tried it my way and it wasn’t working. I came to Teen Challenge and a few weeks after that my husband entered the program too! This year has been the longest, hardest, best year of my life. I never knew who God was before but now I have a relationship with Him that I wouldn’t give up for anything in this world. I now have a relationship with my family, and I see my son all the time. My relationship with my husband is better than it has ever been. We love each other in a totally different way and we support each other. I know God is teaching us to be the parents that He always intended us to be. I am happier now than I have been since I can remember and I have peace and joy. This time exactly a year ago I was miserable and I didn’t want to live anymore. Now I am so grateful to be alive and I can’t wait to see the plans that God has for my family. The verse that I stand on is Ephesians 2:4 and 5 “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
Carol Ann's story is from Alabama Teen Challenge. Visit their profile to learn more.