I was seventeen years old when I first started using drugs. But my problems started long before I actually picked up my first drink or drug. As a child I was very lonely, although I had grown up with four sisters and a brother. I had often tried to commit suicide, because I was not happy with life. I thought no one loved me, but in reality it was me who did not love myself. So at the age of sixteen, I had my first child, thinking it would fill the void. However, my life still felt empty. Then I started smoking marijuana, and finally, I went to smoking crack.

I never thought I would smoke crack. All my siblings smoked crack and I thought I was better than them. See, I was the first one in my family to receive my high school diploma and go to college. Plus I was the first of all the sisters to have their own place. My addiction led me to lose all self-respect. I started tricking, getting in and out of strange men's cars. I also lost custody of my two children due to my irresponsibility. Their father now has full custody of them. In addition, my mother lost all respect for me. She was devastated when she found out that her baby girl was strung out on drugs. My addiction also caused me to lose my apartment that I had for seven years.

I knew that in order to change my life, I first had to surrender to my addiction. I knew that I could no longer control my addiction. I was tired of tricking and living like a derelict. Plus, I wanted my children back in my life. I was determined to get help and I knew that I could not do it by myself.

Even though I tried to commit suicide in the past, I was actually scared of dying. I wanted to live and be normal like other people in society. I prayed and asked God to help me get my life back. My medical insurance helped me to get into Interim House. I listened to the staff because I wanted a change in my life. I also knew that I had to be open minded and willing to take suggestions. Then gradually I started believing in myself and God.

Interim House has helped me in a lot of areas of my life. The first thing that I was truly grateful for was being introduced to Narcotics Anonymous. Interim House also helped to keep the focus on myself and to work on my addiction. I was able to get in touch with my attitude, ideas, and behavior. I also worked on rebuilding my relationship with my mother and children. Most of all they let me know that no matter what I did not have to use. Interim House gave me hope and rebuilt my self-esteem. The staff members were so loving and caring, and I developed a bond with the other females that had similar problems like me. 

See, I had prayed and asked God to help me; he directed me to Interim House

I am finally a productive member in society. I have made a big change in my behaviors. I have a job. I am a certified nursing assistant. I am not on welfare anymore and I have been working for over a year. It feels good to be independent again. I make meetings regularly and I am also sponsoring another recovering addict. Basically I am learning to live life on life's terms. My life is great; I now have peace of mind. I don't have everything I lost, but I know that if I stay clean and continue to do the right thing, everything will gradually fall into place. I am going to continue to work on myself and I am truly grateful for a second chance at life.