After 15 years of using and abusing heroin and other drugs, I found myself at Howard County General Hospital to detox. The social worker talked to me about some places in Baltimore City for treatment, but I did not want to go there. I also didn’t want a 28-day program – I knew I needed long term. When she told me about the Mission, and that it was faith-based, I thought ok, I’ll try it.
I had been to church as a kid. I went with my friend and his grandmother. But, when she died, I stopped going to church. I didn’t understand why God would let such bad things happen to people in the world. It seemed very unfair.
I remember the day I came to the Mission like it was yesterday. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew I needed help. What I got was a change of heart. I have greater peace than ever before. I used to always want to be in control. I don’t need that anymore, because I know that God is in control. I was so anxious all the time. Now I don’t take any medications. I attribute that to an increase in my faith. There is a lot I still want to learn, but I know that God is always with me. One of my favorite ways to think about God is the “Footprints” poem, which tells us that in the hardest and darkest of times, God is carrying me when I don’t have the strength to walk myself. I believe that.
I got my GED while at the Mission. I intend to go to work when I graduate from the Mission, and then take night classes in accounting. I also want to volunteer at the Boys and Girls Clubs. I want to help keep kids off the street. Every kid wants to feel like they fit in; like they are accepted. I didn’t have that, and I would like to help kids have that – I think the best place to start is with children.
The most important thing about the Mission, and what I appreciated the most is how supportive and encouraging everyone is. All the staff are always ready to lend an ear. I never felt any judgment from them. It’s like the family you always wanted.
I can say without a doubt that I believe I will never use drugs again. I am excited for my life, and I know that God will continue to lead me. I am grateful.