Growing up, Stefani Martin was bombarded with the message, "you are not enough." Not cool enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough.
It didn’t take long for that message to become an internal belief.
“I basically changed myself into that person, and I never thought I could do anything…It fell into me truly believing it and not giving my best because I didn’t believe I had the best.”
Her false beliefs even delayed her from entering LIFE Recovery. “One reason I put off coming here is because I was afraid that everybody else was going to be smarter than me, and they would just think I was stupid.”
But her desire to create a better life for her and her daughter, Alexis, overcame her fears. “I wanted to stop my drug addiction and I wanted to become a better mom. I wanted to break the chain of reaction…By me coming here, I hope I broke the chain of my family.”
"By me coming here, I hope I broke the chain of my family.”
In addition to dealing with her addiction, Stefani was given the help and confidence she needed to move past feeling stupid. “Marsha (Vocational Education Coordinator) explained to me how everybody progresses and learns in different ways. If you just sit down and believe you can do it…you can do it.
“Before I came here, I was broken to the point I thought I had no future. Now, I’ve come here and I’ve excelled.”
Stefani has not only stopped believing she’s stupid, she’s letting go of all the “you’re not enough” messages. “One of the best things that I could’ve ever discovered and taken away from this place is being able to let go of worrying about what others thought.
“When I was trying to get past things, I would always say, It doesn’t matter what they think; it’s only what you think, God, and you made me just the way I’m supposed to be. God has given me the strength to be me.”
Knowledge of God’s acceptance has given Stefani confidence, confidence that she carried as she approached Jerry’s Body Shop for a business practicum.
Phase 4 of the five phases in LIFE Recovery is highly focused on developing the skills and training necessary for re-entering the workforce. This includes spending 240 hours in an unpaid business practicum. Stefani accomplished hers at Jerry’s Body Shop.
“After I had my interview there, the guy said, ‘I’ve got to tell you, you’ve got a lot of guts coming into a guys’ territory and saying that you want to work. That just shows what strength you have.’ Before I came to UGM, I didn’t have that. I would’ve never walked into a place and been like, this is what I want to do. It made me realize that no matter what I want to do, I can do it.”
Now Stefani works full-time at Jerry’s Body Shop. She has a job, a home, a daughter who she is determined to raise in God’s truth. And she’s accepting God’s truth for herself.
“I’m an artistic, beautiful child of God. I’m good at a lot of things. And I can finally use my voice and stand up for myself…that’s something I’ve never had before.”
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