Spoken by UGM resident Alexis at a phase celebration event, August 2021
“I spent the better part of ten years living for myself: existing in depravity and following after the ways of this world. Although using started off as something fun and seemingly innocent, it quickly turned into a way to cope with the things I didn’t know how to handle.
“I was doing anything I could to numb the pain of not having my mother, trying to hide my pain from multiple abusive, toxic relationships—always being told that my feelings were invalid, so I kept them to myself. I was trying to find control in the confusion, but I took destruction everywhere I went. All of these things led me deeper into addiction and farther away from where I was called to be.
“Alcohol turned to meth, meth turned to pills, and pills turned to heroin. I always knew what I was doing was wrong, (and the majority of the years was not a party), but I couldn’t stop. I was always in trouble, sick, OD’ing, in dangerous situations, lost my kids— it was never enough to turn me from these behaviors. I knew I needed to change, but every attempt failed, and I was back deeper in my darkness than the time before. I turned my back on everyone safe for me and relied on people I couldn’t trust, people who always left me empty and more broken.
“Alcohol turned to meth,
meth turned to pills,
and pills turned to heroin.”
“In 2019, I was locked up once again, looking at going back down to Boise for the second time, but I did everything I could to find a better, more lasting option, and I did. I was accepted into the Good Samaritan Program and was released to the program in December 2019. I completed the program in April 2020 and had found the Lord, but I turned away from my church and allowed my rebellion and disobedience to control me again.
“By August 2020, I was pregnant, separated from my husband of only two months, homeless and using heroin. I had nowhere to turn, nothing to turn to. I was killing my baby and myself, and the guilt and shame that came along with me harming my baby was the farthest I had fallen into my addiction than ever before.
“By November 2020, I knew I had to make a choice: continue on and wait to get caught and have my baby in prison and have her taken away, or get up and start walking in the right direction, fix my life and make a better future for my baby girl. No one was going to do it for me; it was time for me to be responsible for the life I created.
“It was time for me to be responsible for the life I created.”
“I went to the UGM orientation in November but still couldn’t keep clean on my own, so I went back to the Good Samaritan for detox and a 30-day kicker. Getting back into the fold of my church and my family was only by the grace of God. Only through His strength did I push forward through the month, and by the end of it, I was back on the right path. I still had so much work to do, and I was fighting with the side of me that didn’t think I could maintain, so I went to live in the outpatient house for the Altar and continued to work that program.
“I hadn’t made up my mind if I wanted to be at UGM. I was still set on somehow moving home, but about a week into being out, I realized there was a home for me to go back to: UGM. I called and set up my interview with Dawn and I was accepted. My intake date would be January 6, 2021.
“So much has happened in the last year that doesn’t seem real, looking back on my life that seems to be the theme of it. It has been a trip! Without the Lord’s guidance, I wouldn’t have survived. And here I stand today…at this very moment: I have completed almost half of the UGM program, I have a beautiful five-month old baby girl who is thriving and completely adored, I have a redeemed relationship with my dad and my son, and in four months, I will have one year clean!
“I get to enjoy change because, instead of falling into one hole after another, making one bad choice after another, I am making choices that uplift me. Choices that are drawing me closer to God and the life that He has meant for me. Choices that are made after seeking the Lord’s guidance so I can be confident that I am where I am supposed to be, and who I am supposed to be. I had never been able to make it to this point on my own, but with the love of my family, my support, and the Lord, I get to see the possibilities of what life should be, and what it will be as I keep pushing forward.”
“...I am making choices that uplift me. Choices that are drawing me closer to God and the life that He has meant for me.”
For more stories of real change, check out our free e-book, Change is Possible