Some would say I was raised under the perfect conditions for success. Both of my parents were in the Air Force, I attended church regularly, I had an awesome relationship with my twin sister, and I was a grade A student with AP and Honors credits. I graduated in the top ten percent of my class and was accepted to go to college at the University of South Carolina. Everything was perfect and I was well on course to the ‘American Dream.’
Shortly before the start of the fall semester, I got involved with the wrong people and began experimenting with drugs. To be expected, my parents disapproved of my behavior, and I moved out to maintain the life that I wanted. Little did I know, the following year, an introduction to methamphetamine would change my life forever.
Meth turned into heroine, and heroine turned into anything that I could get my hands on. As I started to rely more and more on drugs, I slowly watched my life slip from my grasp. It wasn’t long before I had lost my job and my home. Only a year ago, I was an honors student excited to go to college and experience dorm-life. Now, I would do anything for a place to stay that wasn’t a hotel or with people I barely knew.
Right after I turned twenty, I met the father of my child. I moved in with him and was physically and emotionally abused. He constantly questioned me and attempted to control every aspect of my life. I became pregnant and could only stay away from drugs for the safety of my daughter. Shortly after she was born, I started using meth again and the cycle reset.
One night, my boyfriend and I got into a big fight. He was coming down off his high and couldn’t find any drugs, so I was his outlet. He beat me so badly that I had to be hospitalized. He was charged and arrested, and my daughter was sent to live with my parents. I not only lost my relationship, but I lost my little girl. I went back to the streets and spiraled out of control. I could have gotten help, but instead I chose to use the drugs because it was easier, and it was the only way I knew how to cope.
My life took a major turn when a high-speed police chase landed my car in a patch of trees. Of all the ways I could have run into the woods, I ran into the thorn bushes. I believe this was God telling me it was time to face my consequences. I was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison.
While in prison, it finally occurred to me that on my own, I was getting nowhere. The only way I could see a future for myself, was if I gave God control of my life. I surrendered everything to Him. I knew only He could do for me what I could not do for myself.
Before my release, I was not naïve enough to think that I could go back to the environment I had lived in before I was incarcerated. If I was going to be successful, I needed a change.
When I heard about JUMPSTART, I jumped at the opportunity for a new beginning and joined the transitional program for re-entry.
Before I went to prison, I had overdosed and was resuscitated five times. Now, I am no longer in bondage to substance, I have a full-time job, and I’m working towards a college degree, all while mending the relationship with my parents and preparing to be the mother my daughter needs. God’s plan for my life is far better than any ‘American Dream’ I could have forged for myself. JUMPSTART and daily surrender to Him are helping me work towards a future that is greater than my past.