From Honor Roll to Homeless

“I was the golden child. Always on the honor roll, never getting into trouble, I could do no wrong…”


A recent graduate from the recovery program shares about her journey from being on the Honor Roll to becoming Homeless:

Most of you know me as “Ma Ma.” I have two beautiful children, one is here with me and one who just graduated from high school. I was born and raised in Maryland. My life growing up always revolved around family. We had big family Sunday dinners, went to church together and took family trips every summer. My father was seldom around; he was in and out jail. Because of the broken relationship we had, I found myself trying to find security in many other broken relationships in my life. In my senior year of high school I opened acceptance letters from NYU, Howard University, Florida State and then Clear Blue Easy! (pregnancy test)

“In my senior year of high school I opened acceptance letters from NYU, Howard University, Florida State and then Clear Blue Easy!”

My mother was devastated. My whole life up until then had been dedicated to pleasing her and everyone else. I was the golden child. Always on the honor roll, never getting into trouble, I could do no wrong … Oh so they thought. Now I was a teenage mom. Two years later I gave birth to my second child. Over the next seven years I worked dead end jobs to take care of my kids and pay the bills. My mother was very supportive even though her health was rapidly declining at the same time. On October 13, 2007, I was faced with the decision to turn off the life support on my mother, my best friend, my confidant, my everything. She died on October 14, 2007. After that, I checked out of life. I was consumed by thoughts of why God would do this to me. Why would God take the only person I had in this world. I was angry with God. Over the next several years I dealt with homelessness, abusive relationships, drug addiction and loneliness. I often asked why me God, why me? I’ve always taken care of everyone, why is there no one here for me? I had to find a way out of this “hell” I was in. You know, when you have no hope left, when you’re left in despair, the only thing you have to turn to is God. So I started praying. Praying to God to give me another chance and he did.

I finally felt like I was living again and not just existing. But as I had done before, I put my need to “please” ahead of what was really important in life. Before I knew it my relationship was over, my home was gone, my car was gone and my life was gone. But I was still trying to please and take care of everyone. After staying at a few coworkers homes, and being in and out of the hospital because my health had become so poor, I became fed up. I started looking for shelters to go to. It was definitely not something I wanted to do but I was out of options.

We arrived here at the Mission on August 8th. My first week here I knew this was something that was not for me. I don’t drink and hadn’t done drugs in years so what did I need with a recovery program?

“I don’t drink and hadn’t done drugs in years so what did I need with a recovery program?”

Boy was I wrong. Recovery is not just about recovering from alcoholism or drug abuse. Addiction comes in many forms. My addiction was people. Pleasing people.

“My addiction was people. Pleasing people.”

How can I give someone else something that I don’t have for myself? It’s impossible. Since being here, I’ve learned boundaries. That it’s ok to do for others, but only if you can. I now have an intimate relationship with God. I am his “Princess” and he is the only one who can order my steps. I have a family here unlike no other. So many sisters, brothers and children.

(To those in the program) – I encourage you to see your destiny through. Especially those of you who are here that don’t have substance abuse problems. God brought you through those doors for a reason. It may not be clear to you right now why, but be patient and wait on him. He will reveal it to you; but in his time.

Yes, there were things about myself I needed to change but this wasn’t just about me. I have impacted so many other lives since I have been here. That’s what God revealed to me. He kept me here and gave me the strength I needed to be able to sustain and he will do the same for you. This was no cake walk but when you give it all to God, you can’t lose. Nothing beats a failure, but a try. I will leave here with tools that I will be able to use the rest of my life.

“I will leave here with tools that I will be able to use the rest of my life.”

I will leave here with the knowledge of the father, the son and the holy spirit that I didn’t have before that I will carry with me everywhere. I walked in to CRM broken… and I’m walking out whole… renewed in Christ. Thank you.

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