Ok, deep breath Christine.
I've gotten some negative feedback about portraying my 'perfect, little life' here on the hipster housewife. In fact, one guy called me THE c word (yup, that one). So I thought I'd share how I got here. It's an ugly story, I'm just going to warn you up front.
I got up in front of my church a few months back, palms sweating, and ready to throw up, and read them the following transcript. I couldn't look up from the page, and I cried throughout, but God got me through it. I shared it then because I hoped I could help someone, and I wanted to give all the glory to God for literally bringing me back from the dead. I do so now for the same reasons.
"I was raised catholic, church every Sunday, CCD, from baptism all the way to conformation. At face value we were a "good catholic family" but I never really got the feeling that my parents were particularly religious. As a child it was just something I had to do, it was boring and never really meant anything to me. By the time I was a teenager I completely hated it. Around 16 years old I became very rebellious and flat out refused to go. I hated everything I thought my religion stood for - all the persecution done in the name of the church throughout history, the help-meet role of women, and the idea of original sin. I wanted nothing to do with the cookie cutter type of religious conformity and assumed perfection I saw at church.
During this period in my life I started to do all of the typical rebellious teenager stuff, experimenting with drugs, defying my parents, skipping school, but for me it didn't come from a typical place I guess you could say. I've always felt somehow broken, or flawed, and it just seemed to get worse in high school. I began seeing what became a long string of different therapists, was a diagnosed with a number of different mental health issues, and given any number of different psych meds to 'fix' me. Of course nothing did fix me and it just made everything so much worse. I tried to end my life and was put in the hospital. Then I would get better for a little while, spiral downward again, and it would start all over.
After a years of this type of behavior I was a mess. I managed to keep my life together to a certain degree but I was never really ok in my own skin. I ran around like a crazy woman in my early twenties, and my drug abuse continued to escalate. I was constantly searching for that thing that would make me ok, that elusive thing that would fill the gaping hole in my chest that I walked around with everyday. I would stuff whatever I could into that hole to make myself feel better, and sometimes it would work for a little while, but it always came back bigger than before.
This entire time I knew I was on the wrong path but I just didn't care, the pain I felt overrode all that. I just wanted the pain to stop. I just wanted to feel like a regular person. I started reading about all different kinds of pagan spirituality in kind of an obsessive manner, searching for an answer. I thought I had some kind of a relationship with god, like I could be in the woods and this sense of peace would come over me and I knew it was him, but it wasn't enough for me. I wanted answers to unanswerable questions. I just wanted something, anything, to really satisfy me.
And then I found heroin. And I thought it was my answer. It satisfied me... until it didn't anymore. This drug completely destroyed my life, it took everything from me. It turned me into something I could no longer recognize. I did horrible things and had horrible things done to me. In the course of my addiction I actually died several times, no breath, no heartbeat, and was brought back and it didn't even scare me. All rational thought was just gone. My existence revolved around using. My best friend from the time I was 5 years old overdosed and died. It didn't stop me. Nothing could stop me. I was in and out of detox and rehab, in any number of programs. I was considered a hopeless case, the lowest of the low, living in a constant state of desperation.
On Easter Sunday three years ago I was in a program. They brought us to church every Sunday and for the first time I actually enjoyed myself in a church. It was unlike any I had ever been to, full of life and music and joy, much like this one. I wanted to learn more and while I was there I did. I wish I could say I got out of that program and stayed clean and life was great but it didn't happen like that. I got out and stayed clean for a little while, but eventually that little voice started back up in my head again 'come on you are doing so good, you can handle it, you deserve it, it will make you feel better'. This time out was much worse. I ended up homeless and in jail. Being in jail was my hitting rock bottom. My dad made me stay in there for a few days to teach me a lesson before bailing me out and it was the scariest, most degrading thing I've ever been through.
I got home and I was just not ok, serious major depression. I again tried to take my own life. My dog is actually the one who saved me, he alerted my parents by barking by my door. My father still call him his hero dog. I was in the hospital for almost three weeks. I came home and I stayed clean, but I was very depressed. I started to work with a great therapist and began to get marginally better.
Then my aunt Lisa asked me to come to new hope christian chapel with her to see the teen challenge women speak. It was like the church I visited when I was in the program, but better, my family was there and people reached out to me. I didn't realize it then, but god was calling me. I kept coming back and my life was changed forever. It sounds dramatic, and I guess it is, but it's also true.
God has taken me from a broken, ashamed, hopeless drug addict and has turned me into a whole, happy, loving woman with a beautiful family. When I gave my life to Christ the desire to use drugs was literally lifted from my body, it's just gone, that in and of itself is a miracle, but he has done and continues to do so much more for me. I am not even remotely the same person I was two years ago, or even one year ago. When I first started coming here I walked around thinking - what if these people find out out about me? What if they find out that I'm not like them, that I'm actually a bad person? The shame I felt, I can't begin to put into words. And yet here I am today standing in front of you all sharing my story.
Jesus did that for me, he took that shame away. I am forgiven. I could never truly explain to you what those three words mean to me. But they are true. I am forgiven, I am washed clean, made new. Second Corinthians 5:17 says "therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!" These are not just words from an old book. This happened to me. I am a completely new person. I don't have to walk around with that pain and shame anymore. That hole in my chest is gone. I'm free.
The satisfaction that I was constantly searching for has been found in jesus christ. To be free from the slavery that is addiction is a blessing beyond measure. Because that is what I was - a slave in very real chains. It truly is for freedom that Christ has set us free. You hear the words "Jesus saves" or "being saved" so often that they just become words. But Jesus literally, actually saved my life in a very concrete, factual way.
I was a walking dead person and Jesus raised me to life.
And he continues to do amazing things in my life. You know that therapist I told you about? Turns out she's a Christian and even though its way against the rules we pray together and talk about the bible during our sessions. My mental health issues have become completely manageable without any kind of medication, and they continue to improve everyday. I have a beautiful family that I love with all of my heart. I know that god brought drew and I together, there is no doubt in my mind about that. He truly does work through people, drew has played no small role in my recovery. I know I went through everything I did so I could be here today, with my fiancé and our kids, surrounded by people I love, sharing gods glory.
I know I'm worth something today, that my life is a gift from god. And I am so blessed to be here living it."
So that's it. Praise God.
Please try not to judge another before you've walked a mile in their shoes. The saying is beyond cliché, but it also couldn't be more true.
Oh, and if you still think I'm a c*** that's cool too. God knows me by name.
Much love and thanks
The Hipster Housewife xx