It all started for Stephanie at the age of ten when her parents got divorced and her picture-perfect family was gone in a moment’s notice. She felt her identity slipping away as she left the home she grew up in to be with her mom, leaving her dad and two older siblings behind. Things turned for the worse for Stephanie when her mother got into an abusive relationship. The man’s cousin, who was staying at their house, sexually abused Stephanie for four years until she decided to leave.
Everything that happened was all too much for a young girl like her to carry. She felt as though she had been stripped off of everything that she held dear to her heart…her family…her home…her purity. She had nothing left but pain, confusion and shame. With everything that she’s been through, it was easy for her to find comfort in alcohol and drugs.
At first it felt good. Her addiction made her feel as though she was in control and it made her forget the bad things. When she was drunk and high, she didn’t remember the pain of losing her family. She didn’t remember the shame that she carried from being used and abused. All throughout Stephanie’s teenage years and into adulthood, she hid her pain behind hard liquor, cocaine and meth.
What started out as partying in the weekends began to take over every area of Stephanie’s life. Through the course of her addiction, she lost her home, her job and custody of her firstborn son. She has become so miserable. Nothing about alcohol and drugs was enjoyable anymore and no matter how much she tried to stay clean and sober, she just could not stop drinking and using.
After giving birth to her second child, a daughter, she thought she could change for the baby. She was wrong. “I kept getting drunk and getting high. I couldn’t stop. I just looked at her and I knew my life was headed nowhere. I was physically and mentally unable to be a good mom to her. I needed help. I wanted something better for her.”
It was then that Stephanie decided to come to Teen Challenge knowing only God could help her. When Stephanie first walked through the doors of Teen Challenge, she was very scared. She had been drinking so heavily and her body had become physically dependent on alcohol. She knew she was going to have to go through the detox process. “The moment I came in the program, God healed my body. I didn’t go through any physical pain, any shakes or any withdrawals. With the amount of alcohol I was drinking, it couldn’t have been possible.”
Stephanie gave her life to God and she’s learning how to overcome alcoholism and drug addiction and how to love herself. “I feel like I’ve been given an opportunity to make a fresh start and find out who I really am so I can be the person I’ve always wanted to be for my family, for my children, for myself. Today, I have integrity. I have the ability to be in a healthy relationship with the people around me. This has been the most productive year of my life. I’m functioning. I feel like I’m accomplishing things step by step. For the first time in a long time, I can say that I am proud of myself and where I am today.”
Stephanie is just a few weeks away from completing the program. In the past year that she’s been in Teen Challenge, God has restored her sobriety and sanity and He has given her hope for the future.