Melissa’s Testimony

My Testimony                 My pre-addiction life wasn’t what I’d call dysfunctional, although it wasn’t traditional either.   I grew up in a happy home with a supportive family.  We had more than some, but less than others.  My mom strived to give us kids some of the pleasures she lacked growing up.  Outwardly there was nothing amiss, but I struggled to live in my own skin.  I just felt like something wasn’t right.  I craved acceptance and rejection deeply wounded me.  I started drinking socially when I was 16.  I remember having a few beers and all of the sudden I fit in.  I said the right things, laughed at the right times and in general I didn’t feel like an outsider.  My drinking continued through the next several years in spurts.  I received both my High School Diploma and Associates Degree, graduating with honors.  I moved from my hometown to Lincoln to Kansas City and started working for a large bank.  I started a relationship with Jason, someone who wanted to be with me as much as I wanted to be with him, had two children, lived a comfortable life and thought I was on the path for a rewarding life.  How wrong I was.              The first time I actually realized I was an alcoholic was when I became pregnant with my son.  I couldn’t drink for the next nine months and I almost had a panic attack.  I was terrified.   Of course those feelings changed rather quickly and I adjusted.  A few months after my son was born, I started drinking again, although not to the extent that I was previously.  I thought I had everything under control.  But eventually, I started drinking more and more.  I would be perfectly fine one minute and completely intoxicated the next.  I really started getting scared because I had this feeling I was killing myself and I usually felt terrible.  I decided to enter a seven day detox and get my stuff together.  I stayed sober for almost two years after that, being pregnant with my daughter for 9 months of that time.  I was thrilled to have a sibling for my son and another baby.    A few months later, the company I was working for announced it was closing its doors.   I was fortunate to find employment almost identical to my previous job in Sidney, so we packed up and moved in with my parents until we could find an apartment.               I was happy to be home.  I loved my job, my kids were adjusting, they had cousins to play with and I had my family.  Jason, however, turned completely inward.  He hated it.  He didn’t try to find employment, he was drinking all day and he was depressed.  A couple of months later we decided to take a break with our relationship.  I wanted him to go back to Arkansas and sober up.  I wanted him to act like a partner and provider.  None of those things happened.  I was heartbroken.  I went from drinking a pint and a half a night to about a fifth.  Every night of the week I drank and started blacking out regularly.  When my kids went to spend the holidays and the summer with their grandparents and father in Arkansas, I started drinking during the day.  That was a first.  I had so much free time, but I didn’t want to be around anyone.  I was a robot.  I went to work and then I came home and drank.  I had no life, no socialization, nothing.  After a while, I started getting sick if I didn’t have a couple of drinks over my lunch hour.  I started drinking right after work until waiting for my kids to go to bed.  My family was scared, my job on the rocks.  I was hospitalized many times over the next year.  I had quit eating and completely wasted away.  My mind didn’t work right and I was barely surviving.  I entered my first treatment center on May 1st.  The day I got out, May 31st, Jason died.  His alcoholism had taken its toll and he had an excruciating death.   I think part of me died that day too.  After that, I went on a roller coaster of binging and sobering up.               I reached my absolute breaking point in April of 2013.  I had just gotten out of jail a couple of weeks before after serving time for my second DUI, but my desire to numb my life was still overwhelming.  I wasn’t allowed in any of my families’ homes as they knew I would just drink.  I had only a couple of days left in my hotel room, and then I was out.  Out of a room, out of options, and out of money.  I literally had a foot in the grave if I didn’t absolutely repent and turn my life around.  I started praying, halfheartedly at first, but by the end of an hour I had emptied myself of all the emotions that had been plaguing me.  I cried, I was hurting, I was afraid, but I knew God was providing another chance for me.  I thought I put my faith in God as an adolescent, and I don’t know, maybe I was saved, but I knew for sure that day that my life was Christ’s.  I was ready for Him to mold me and I gave up my own will in return for life.   God answered a lot of prayers that day.  I got on the phone and started calling around.  A member of my family knew someone who received much needed help from the Columbus Rescue Mission.  I called Ted, then I spoke with Carolyn, and lastly I called my mom to ask her for a ride to Columbus.   Since coming to Columbus Rescue Mission on April 14th, I have actively pursued a relationship with God and I believe he is working to heal me from the inside.  I have experienced the rewards that following the Lord offers.  I still struggle with letting go, but my mentors are full of grace in helping me on my spiritual walk.  I feel blessed that I’ve gone through everything I have in my life so in the future I can look back on this time and realize what God had done to restore me.  Jeremiah 29:11-14 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity . . .”