Joanne’s Story

My childhood was a happy time. My mom was the best, always caring for and loving me and my sisters. She worked a lot to provide for us, and my sister and I were independent.

In high school, I smoked pot to fit in with my group of friends. Despite my drug use, I completed high school and went to college. While there, I began an intense bible study. As my relationship with Christ grew stronger, I discovered my purpose. I was destined to help others and make a difference in the world.  I began teaching fellow students the Bible and had dreams of one day becoming a math and bible study teacher. My dreams were derailed when my mother was killed in a horrific accident. The images from that day were unbearable, and I began using cocaine to escape my feelings.

I finished college and dove deeper into my biblical studies. I found a local Bible House and the people there became my family. Through God, I gained strength and began to focus on my future. I became a high school math teacher and became engaged to a man from the Bible House. I was so happy. Shortly after we announced our engagement, my pastor told me I wasn’t ready to marry and told me not to come back to the Bible House. I was crushed.

I was hurt, lonely and confused. I met a man who gave me the attention I craved. We began a relationship. He was a cocaine addict. I began smoking with him. I tried to stop, but I was an addict. My sisters found out and tried to help me though treatment. It worked for a while.

Last year, I went camping, had an accident, injured my back and was prescribed pain medication. This began another cycle that ended in complete hopelessness. My bible study friends took me to treatment. I completed treatment and, with reservations, came to St. Martin de Porres House of Hope upon the advice of my counselor.

I have been at St. Martin for three months. I have learned that not using is just the beginning of a process that will continue for the rest of my life. I’m learning about myself. I am receiving therapy, substance abuse relapse prevention education and attending A.A. and N.A. meetings.

I’m in an environment filled with people who understand and are willing to give me the patience and time that I need to learn how to live again.

Now I have it: the hope I had lost to keep living. I’m learning how to be happy and renewing my dreams. I believe God is going to use me to help other people who are struggling with the disease of addiction. And it is all thanks to this wonderful House that is filled with Hope.