Heroin and Homelessness, Michelle’s Testimony

Updated: Jun 16

I can’t really tell you how long my addiction to heroin was because my ability to get the dates on the timeline of my life is still a little blurry. But it all started after my addiction with pain pills. Heroin was cheaper and you got more. When it started, I had a home, medical insurance, food stamps, and child support for my 12 yr old son. As my addiction got worse so did my life. I quit paying rent and lost my home. We bounced around from friend to friend to shelter. All feelings and emotions were numbed by heroin. I lived my life around it. We ended up in a tent in the woods and by day I was the one carrying a sign to make money for food to feed us with the majority going towards my drug of choice. We weren’t in the tent long before cps showed up with the police and took my son. My heart was broken and I wanted to die, I felt so lost. I didn’t show up to court because I knew I’d test dirty but after 2 months I told them I had a problem and wanted help. I lost all I had and was struggling every day to keep from getting dope sick. It was hell. Every day flying my sign on the corners further wrecked my self-esteem which was already low as an addict who was homeless.

As time went by, I started drastically losing weight and my breathing was getting worse due to asthma and copd. It still didn’t stop me even though I was close to death. But you know, deep inside I still held onto my faith. I knew it wasn’t Gods fault for the way my life was going. I carried on with my addiction even as I was near death and got to the point where I had trouble eating and swallowing my food or I would throw up whatever I did manage to get down. I knew something was very wrong with me and thought it might be cancer. I was still living in the tent with my mother and only able to make it across to the thrift store to panhandle. My mother told me she prayed every day for my safe return back to the tent. I told a friend that I was so tired and called my brother to arrange for my mom to stay with him while I went into treatment. I was dropped off at Netcare at 1am and entered into Maryhaven October 5, 2016. I weighed 84lbs and after much testing and bloodwork was diagnosed with full blown aids. I was devastated and could only think about my mother and my now 16yr old son. I was admitted to the hospital and oddly enough never felt alone. My emotions were numb and I felt spiritually dead. I did complete the program at Maryhaven and started on meds for the aids. After visiting my brother and mother around Thanksgiving I ended up living in a pay by week motel. There I met my best friend Gail who invited me to church. I dedicated my life to God and was baptized at the church I now call home. After completing the rehab, I had no desire to do drugs of any kind which was amazing since being an addict for most of my life and a chronic re-lapser. I know now that God delivered me from all addictions with no cravings. Like I’ve never done drugs ever in my life! I started reading the bible which once made no sense, but now everything makes sense and I can’t get enough! I have now also been baptized in the Holy Spirit and know that I am made new. Today I weigh 144lbs, don’t gasp for air trying to breath, my memory is that of a teenager, my t-cell count went up and my viral load is undetectable. I have a relationship again with my son and was blessed with a home. I have God to thank for all of this and know how faithful he is. He never left me and never gave up on me.


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