Addiction started for Rachel when she was 8. She stumbled onto pornography on a computer. That led to other addictions including cutting herself, codependency and finally to substance abuse, bouts of severe depression and life control struggles before she went to Adult & Teen Challenge Ohio Valley for help.
She’ll graduate on Oct. 16th and plans to return to her family’s home and continue to attend church and meetings and help her parents with her younger siblings.
“The foremost thing I learned here is that God really loves me and there’s freedom in Jesus,” Rachel said. She wants to get a job, return to school, earn a degree and work with underprivileged children either as a social worker or in early childhood education.
“I learned life skills here,” Rachel said. “I learned how to cook. I learned how to clean.” She learned how to be more organized and to take pride in her work, too.
In October 2020, Rachel hit a low. Her credit cards were maxed out, she had no money to buy drugs or alcohol and she was deeply depressed. “I had a psychotic break,” she said. “I was going to drive my car into Lake Milton.” God started showing her memories of her family and she knew she couldn’t put them through what her suicide would do to them. She called and got help and then entered ATCOV.
Growing up and going to church, Rachel didn’t learn about the Jesus of the Bible or the loving, kind God. “I thought God was some legalistic God who was shaking his fist at me so I never really understood who God really was,” she said. Learning who God and Jesus really are helped Rachel through ATCOV to recover from her addictions. “Now I know that God loves me and he has a plan for me and I know what a true intimate relationship is,” she said. “Whereas growing up, I had none of that.”
ATCOV’s pastoral counseling and therapy helped Rachel gain clarity. She’s learned to set boundaries with other people and that doing so doesn’t make her a mean person.
“If anything, I set boundaries with the people that I love because I love them,” Rachel said. Addiction can happen to anyone, Rachel cautions. It doesn’t single people out based on race, education or socioeconomic background. “It doesn’t discriminate, but neither does Jesus,” she said. “Jesus is the only one who’s going to accept you for who you are.”
Before coming to ATCOV, she lived to drink and get high. When she couldn’t do that anymore, she didn’t see the point in going on. “Addiction was a full-time job for me,” she said. ATCOV shifted all of that for her. “Right now, I live for Jesus and to help others,” Rachel said.