How did you get started with drugs and alcohol?
I got started in high school, just by being part of the crowd. After high school, I stopped for a little while. I drank a little in college, but didn't do cocaine again until I was 22 or 23. Alcohol doesn't really bother me. Cocaine my drug of choice for a long time, then I went to cocaine and heroin, but this past relapse it was just cocaine. I was clean for 5 years, but I started using again last Easter. On Easter day, we were hanging out in the front yard when a house across the street caught on fire and little kids were running out. I was burned in a car fire when I was 6 months old, so seeing those kids come out of the house brought back a lot of bad memories for me. I went on a bender for a few days after that. I went through 17 years of surgeries after the car fire, so I knew what those kids were going to go through in rehab for their burns. That started the downhill spiral for me, then other things kept happening like my dad's passing. Things just went all crazy.
How did you end up at The 24?
It was a series of signs that I just followed. I had lost my house, so we were living in a car for a month and a half. Normally when I wanted to stop using, I would ask God to please stop me from doing what I'm doing and he usually responded with putting me in TDC or jail. This time, I asked God to stop me from doing what I'm doing WITHOUT going to TDC or jail. I was getting ready to go panhandling with my husband and another guy and we prayed as we always did before we went out. We said the Lord's Prayer, then we prayed, "God, take care of us and make sure we have what we need, not what we want, but what we need. I'm going to be really specific this time, can one of us get a $100 so we can have a place to stay tonight and something good to eat?" It was really cold that day, so we were worried about where we were going to spend the night. So, I'm standing out there for about 20 minutes when traffic stopped and a guy in a white jeep sat staring at me. He motioned for me to come over and handed me a $100. My heart stopped and I started crying and said, "Now we can get a place to stay tonight."
The next day I went into a Denny's to use the restroom and this lady walked up to me and said, "You're going to think I'm crazy, but God wanted me to tell you that you're going to get everything you want and need." I was in tears immediately, so I walked outside and sat down. A couple minutes passed and a man walked up to me and gave me the book of John and $5 and told me to go eat. I just knew that if I didn't listen to these signs that something bad was going to happen to me. I started looking for places to go to get help, but everywhere required that I be clean, which I wasn't. A couple days later, I was on the street when these kids crossed over to me. One of them handed me a stuffed dog with a rescue sign and I just thought, "I need to go. I need to get help." I just thought that was too many signs not to listen. I started calling around places and I stayed with a friend for a few days. I wanted to stop but I didn't know where to go. I called Dallas 24 Hour Club and was able to get in the next day. I love it here. I've been here a month, so I'm about 30 days clean and I feel GREAT.
If it weren't for Dallas 24 Hour Club, I would be on the streets. I would still be out there.
What is one thing everyone should know about The 24?
It's a life saving place. It's a wonderful place to be. The people here are so friendly and helpful. If you don't understand something, they're going to help you understand. It's just a great place.