I grew up in a two parent, church going, successful family. I also grew up with physical, emotional and sexual abuse. By the time I entered school, I felt unloved and alone, certain I didn’t matter to anyone. I learned to numb all the pain I felt with food by age 7, alcohol at age 10 and drugs at age 18. Outwardly, I was successful in school and life, but inwardly I was miserable and afraid of everything. In college, I was forced to deal with my drug addiction because of an overdose that almost got me thrown out of my field of study. I went through treatment and stopped doing drugs, however, I made alcohol my new love. I lived the next 25 years of my life as a functioning alcoholic who was very good at hiding my addiction. I had a successful business, married and had three sons.

During a severe episode with depression in my 30’s, I cried out for relief, but I found so much more. I found real hope in Jesus Christ. I became a Christian at 38 and served in church as a Sunday School teacher and VBS leader, but I still had the horrible secret of my alcoholism. I went through treatment a couple more times, but I couldn’t stay sober until I was introduced to Celebrate Recovery. My pastor told me about CR when I finally shared my addiction with him.

CR was the place I felt at home. I was able to say I was a believer, but I still struggled greatly. Celebrate Recovery not only helped me find sobriety one day at a time, it also brought true recovery from addiction, self-loathing and anger. It has helped me heal from childhood abuse, learn healthy coping skills for my depression and anxiety and find purpose. I am no longer a slave to addiction, anger or fear. I am a child of God. I am His beloved and cherished. God is using my mess as his message as I serve as ministry leader in my CR and as a state rep. I live today in gratitude to Jesus, who redeemed my life from the pit, set my feet upon a rock and put a new song of praise in my mouth. Freedom is possible. I am living proof. Thanks for letting me share.

Ann