Great Lakes Women’s Rehab – Graduate Testimonies
My name is Grace and I am 25 years old. I was born and raised in the south side of Chicago. My parents got divorced when I was 12 years old and it really affected me. I was very upset and sad that I had to be in the middle of my parent’s separation. As I got older I continued to carry this anger and darkness that followed me.
I started using marijuana during high school to ease my pain. After graduating high school I started college and began living the party life. I met a group of new friends who introduced me to Xanax and it completely took over my life. It was a high that I enjoyed. My life started slipping and in November of 2011 I found out I was pregnant. I was so afraid because I knew I was bringing a baby into a relationship that was dead.
On July 23, 2012, I had my son, Matthew. I was filled with joy and happiness but I was overwhelmed with the many issues I was going to have to face. When Matthew was 6 months old I was served court papers and my world came crashing down. It was such a difficult battle and I felt powerless when I got granted joint custody. I was disappointed in myself and felt like I failed as a mother. I didn’t know who I was anymore and in all honesty, I didn’t care to live. In January of 2016, I was introduced to heroin. I overdosed many times and remember waking up in the hospital ashamed of being alive.
My mother found out about Great Lakes Women’s Rehab through a friend and told me that I needed to go in order for me to have a relationship with my son. In February, I decided to come to Adult & Teen Challenge hoping to change my life. I came in with a mindset of doing the program for only 6 months and I did. During my time here I was very quiet about my issues. I was embarrassed about opening up and having to face my problems sober.
In July, I left the program determined to be a mother to my son. Within 2 weeks, I relapsed and lost my family and most importantly, I lost my relationship with Jesus. I couldn’t believe I failed as a mother again. This was my lowest point in life.
I was on my own and it hurt to know that my family no longer supported me or even wanted a relationship with me. I fell to my knees and asked the Lord to help me. I knew I could no longer live this life. When I walked back in through the doors of Teen challenge, I knew this is where the Lord wanted me to be.
My journey here has been difficult but one of the best things I have ever done. He’s given me the freedom and the endurance to persevere. I am so grateful to know that I am a child of God. Jesus has restored me and renewed my mind. I’m very excited to see what the Lord has planned for me and I’m open to receiving his promises.
I grew up in a normal and healthy family. There were no problems with alcohol or drugs. I started drinking occasionally on the weekends in high school. During my twenties and thirties, I drank socially.
I was 35 years old when I had my only son, Joseph. My problems started when I was taking Joseph to the bus stop. I fell down a flight stairs and was unconscious. I had been drinking the night before. Joseph was 7 at the time and knocked on a neighbor’s door. I was hospitalized.
Seeing the keys in my hand, the police assumed I was going to drive Joseph to school. Therefore DCFS came into my life. My mom was able to get custody (foster parents) of Joseph. I began a cycle of treatment programs, aftercare, AA meetings, and DCFS involvement.
My drinking got worse. I was a functioning alcoholic. It was part of my everyday life. My sister knew someone who went through Teen Challenge and suggested I go. I decided to give it a try. I arrived on August 3, 2016, and realized that this was a faith-based program and I would need to make a one-year commitment to myself, God and the Bible. A couple of days went by and that is when I started to realize I do have a life-controlling problem that I cannot handle on my own.
I struggle with sorrow in my heart when I think of all those times I spent with Joseph and I had to rush home to have that drink. I lost much time and much of his life because of my addiction. I didn’t get a chance to see his laughter or wipe his tears. I thank God that he kept Joseph warm, safe and loved under all the wings of His angels.
Today, I am completely sober through my own will and faith. Jesus wants to do so much for me in my life and all I have to do is love, pray and follow him. He gives me wisdom, knowledge, and strength to believe, so I can continue on my journey to the life He has planned for me.
Laurie has accepted an internship with Great Lakes Women’s Rehab and will be working at SuperThrift.
My name is Natalie and I’m 20 years old. I am proud to say I have found God, and there is no going back for me. Over one year ago I came into the program, a completely broken and lost soul. I had tried everything that the world had to offer me, explored every religion, but I was still left empty. I was facing prison time.
As far back as I can remember, I have had anxiety and depression. I carried pain around as my identity, not knowing there was a world outside of darkness. At a young age, I experimented with drugs and the occult. I thought that was the end of my misery but little did I know, the only thing worse than that night was the trauma that followed.
I had panic attacks every day for a year and Satan’s small whispers became loud shouts in my ear, telling me I’m worthless and better off dead. I attempted suicide multiple times, and never understood why I couldn’t die.
My carelessness landed me in and out of jail. In April of 2015, I got into a car crash, from passing out at the wheel, and got 3 years of probation. I remember being pulled out of my car and the only thing I thought was I wish I didn’t wake up.
Since coming to Great Lakes Women’s Rehab, I’ve given my life to Christ, and He has not let me down. What I’ve learned since being here, is that the voice of Christ can drown out all other voices of the world. I used to be too ashamed to show my face, but now I have a light that can’t be burned out. Today I am working as an intern in the intake department for Adult & Teen Challenge.
The scripture that I stand on is found in Isaiah 40:31, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint.”