Below, in her words, is the story of Michelle, one of our patients. We have changed her name for anonymity. We hope you enjoy her story, as much as we have enjoyed contributing to her success.
Love, compassion, understanding and forgiveness is a basic foundation of what family is based on. Where I come from, that isn’t the case. I grew up barely seeing my biological father and my mom was always working, so I spent most of the time with my great- grandparents. My mom married my step-dad when I was 7 and things were great for a little while… Then I turned 18, started hanging out with the wrong people, doing the wrong things.
When I was 18, I started stealing checks from my mom, cashing them and buying whatever it is that I thought wanted or needed; new clothes, gas in my car to hang out with my supposed friends, concerts. Of course I never thought I’d get caught, I was so wrong.
In early October, my mom found all of this out, called the cops, and I went to jail for the first time on November 8th, 2013. It was the worst experience of my life. Luckily, I made better friends, and as I was trying to change my life around, they helped bail me out. I thought it was all done from there… wrong again! Then I met a new guy, he was smart, funny, just an amazing guy, and I was so scared to tell him what I had done. I was ashamed because he was just so perfect in my eyes.
Together, we went through 6 months of jail, court, and everything imaginable to tear us apart. Then on March 14th, 2014, he did the unthinkable, he proposed. My life was going to change forever, and I was so excited. I ended up going for my sentencing court date, and found out I was going to do 3 months in jail, and 2 years’ probation. I was charged with larceny in a building and breaking and entering, which happened to be a felony. Man did I screw up, right?
What happened next, was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. I got out of jail and started counseling at Renewed Hope, started the wedding planning, and began to change my life around for the better. I started going to probation and counseling twice a week, every month. When I first started all this, I still didn’t care that I was considered a felon, and my life was pretty much over from there.
But, from the love and support of my soon to be husband, I went every time, hoping for the best. When I started counseling, I was angry, bitter, confused, and just hated the world. Now, looking back, I was so wrong for everything I did, all the hurt I caused my family, and everyone around me. How could I be so inconsiderate to do something like this? Everyone makes mistakes, good or bad, but mine was definitely one of the worst, but everything can be changed around if you work for it.
Now, a year later, I’m married to my absolute best friend, I’m enrolled as a full time student at University of Phoenix for social work with a concentration in addictions. I work part time and I actually have my life together. None of this would have been possible without the new found love and support of my husband, his family, Renewed Hope and their amazing counselors. I couldn’t be happier where my life is at, and where it is going.