Shanena (pronounced Shane-na) completed UGM Women's LIFE Recovery at the Center for Women and Children in Spring 2022 and recently reached out to UGM, hoping to share her testimony with as wide an audience as possible. We hope her message encourages you to see hope in every life, no matter the situation.
"I feel like someone needs to hear this: You're okay and it's okay. Especially if you're new to the UGM program or thinking about starting, you may be feeling like you can't do it, you're not okay, and your past is too much. Then please listen: I have been through a 12-year meth addiction, and before that, drugs, drinking, and smoking cigarettes all started by the age of 10. I went through the UGM program, and it was not easy—there were so many days I felt I wasn't okay and I wasn't going to make it. Some days, I felt my life of drugs, my past, and all the people I had hurt was just too much, and how could I forgive the people that had hurt me? At first, my thoughts were, ‘They don't deserve my forgiveness and why should I forgive them for hurting me?’
"Some days, I felt my life of drugs, my past, and all the people I had hurt was just too much, and how could I forgive the people that had hurt me?"
"At that point in time I thought I was still in control, but one day I was told, 'Shanena, you once were in control of your life and how did that work out for you?' That really got me thinking! Yeah, I was, and I ran it into the ground. And honestly, when I first went into the UGM program I wasn't a believer. I thought if there was a God, He wouldn't have let me get hurt or make me grow up in a drug house then turn to drugs myself at such a young age, but as I went farther in the program and got into trauma therapy, I gave more and more to the program and to the Lord.
“It wasn't easy for me and I didn't make it easy on the people at UGM who were trying to help me, but I did it, and now today I'm so glad I did and I'm so glad I gave my life to the Lord. I figured out that God had been with me the whole time—my whole life—and thankfully the ladies at UGM never gave up on me even at my worst times.
"What I learned is sometimes you have to take life minute by minute, care for yourself, learn from your mistakes because we are all human; we will make mistakes in life and recovery, and it's okay. Just try to do the next best thing, don't let your mistakes break you or push you back into your addiction. Just keep going! You can do it, and you are worth recovery. You are worth good things and a good life. Just keep going.
"...don't let your mistakes break you or push you back into your addiction. Just keep going! You can do it, and you are worth recovery. You are worth good things and a good life, just keep going."
"I'm proud to say next month I will have 2 1/2 years sober. I have never had this long sober and I owe it all to UGM and the Lord. So please listen and do what is asked of you in program even if you think it won't help or if you have tried it before... then do it again because they know what you are doing, and they will help you be able to do the things you want in life and build a life you never thought you could have. It is all worth it. I'm a completely different person than the person who walked in their doors. I'm the person I was always meant to be and the person I never thought I could ever be. Believe, have faith, and trust the process. I'm living proof, and I believe if I could do it then anyone can."
"Believe, have faith, and trust the process. I'm living proof, and I believe if I could do it then anyone can."