Lose the Label: Damaged Goods

Posted by Merrily Brast, Staff Writer Dec 8, 2015 3:37:15 PM

“When you know that you’re bad, you always feel like you’re doing something wrong.”

After meeting her biological parents and realizing her mother and father were both addicts, Sonja believed she was just damaged goods; a bad seed.

“I gave myself that label because that’s where I came from, from people who were already dysfunctional, who were ‘bad.’”

Sonja fell into the same cycle of addiction. “I’ve been on a lifetime journey of alcoholism and trauma and problems that come with that, and I ended up homeless.”

She and her grandson, Xavier, were homeless when she heard about the Union Gospel Mission’s long-term recovery program and decided she wanted to change her life.

The Union Gospel Mission exists to break the cycle of homelessness, abuse, and addiction that has often been passed down through multiple generations. Breaking that cycle can begin with one person who chooses to deal with her emotions and pain instead of using a substance to avoid them. And when one person makes this choice, the effect reverberates outward, impacting the other people in her life, as well.Sonja.edited.jpg

Sonja began the process of breaking the cycle in her family. She graduated from UGM Women’s Recovery with the tools and resources necessary to live life a whole new way. Today, she has a full-time job, a home for Xavier and herself, and she is reconnected with her daughter. She has learned the value of trusting others and developing relationships.

Sonja is building a new legacy in her family.

“Every day, God is showing me new ways that he’s working in my life and my family’s life and bringing us all together.”

And she no longer sees herself as “damaged goods.”

“I stopped believing lies and I started believing the truth…It’s just amazing that I feel like I can just be myself and that there’s not something wrong with me all the time.”

Learn about 21 ways you can help others break the cycle within their own families. 

download free e-book with 21 ways to help the homeless

Topics: homeless, breaking-the-cycle, label


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