‘For thirty five years I had kept it quiet that I had suffered serious abuse at the age of thirteen. I was also bullied in school. I started to smoke weed and then became addicted to heroin and crack cocaine – it numbed the pain of everything I had suffered. ‘
I went through two failed marriages, lost a baby son and tried to end my life nine times. I did work but everything I had went on feeding my habit. I was utterly desperate. My ‘rescue’ began when a lady from Alcoholics Anonymous said she wanted to take me to a house group. When I asked what that it was, she said it was to do with God and I told her I didn’t believe in God, why would he want to cause me so much pain? I got a food package delivered from The Well, Wolverhampton’s foodbank, and on the tins there was a sticker that said ‘with love from Jesus.’ I also found information about an event taking place in Wolverhampton called ‘Ablaze’ and just knew I had to get there. I walked all the way there not knowing where it was but kept asking directions. There was a tent there and they asked me if I wanted prayer for healing and I told them I just had to get out of my addiction. A week later I went to the house where the home group was meeting and also decided to go and see for myself at a church in town called All Nations. The lady at the home group house took me in and she mentioned Betel as a place you could go if you were struggling with addiction. People who I didn’t want to see were still contacting me and I knew I had to get out to have a chance. I rang Betel and they took me in at Derby. The day I went in I stopped drugs, smoking and even drinking coffee and went cold turkey for seven days. There was a bible there which I picked up and began reading but I didn’t understand it. I said to God that I needed him to help me understand who he was. I started to get my confidence back. I began to read and understand. I realised that my previous ‘friends’ were no friends at all. I spent three years at Betel and they stretched me – it was tough love. I began to realise that I had talents and that Jesus loved me more than any man or woman could. I didn’t need their approval any more. I left Betel and moved into a women’s refuge in Wolverhampton. I now work as a volunteer in the ReGen Household charity shop in Bilston helping people. It’s part of Enterprise Homes working with the homeless and I know what it’s like to be alone. That’s why I tell the other women in the refuge that if they need anything just knock on my door – I know they are loved and that’s what it’s all about.