Petrina was having fun, at first.
When she tried meth at 19 it was to keep her boyfriend around. But when she tried to quit so she could visit her parents for Christmas, she realized things had gotten out of control, “I got so sick with a rash all over my body. I couldn't eat anything, and lost 10 pounds ... I thought I was going to die.”
Even while Petrina was on drugs in college, she was getting straight A’s in all her classes. When it came time for finals week, she had a big project to prepare for. But because of late nights fueled by meth, she was too ashamed to show up to class, “I didn't do any of the finals that week, and I dropped out in the last week of school—even with straight A’s—because of my addiction.”
After missing multiple days of work, she started losing jobs, and eventually everything was gone — her car, her home, her money. About six years into her addiction she found random guys to stay with just so she would have a place to stay at night. During one of these nights, having to sneak into a guys’ house to keep his mom from noticing her, Petrina prayed, “God, I don't know how to get out of this. I know I'm not supposed to be living this way. Help me.” All she wanted was a place to find peace, get some sleep, and get off drugs. She didn’t know where to turn.
Her answer came in February 2005 from her uncle, who was a Teen Challenge director, “Even though I was scared of the unknown and all these ladies around me who I didn't know, I felt the safest I had felt in a long time.”
After years of aimless wandering, Petrina had finally found what she had been looking for. She found lasting freedom and hope while at Teen Challenge and successfully completed in 2006 and went on further to graduate from the Teen Challenge Ministry Institute in 2007.
“Little by little God was showing me that I didn't need the things I was clinging to anymore, and that he was going to provide for me everything that I needed.”
Today, Petrina is married with three kids, and does her best to teach them the power of prayer and the fulfillment that comes from helping others, “I'm also very open with them about the life that I used to live, especially with my 12-year-old. She’s getting into those years, and I want her to know she can be open and honest with me. And if she ever had problems or questions, she knows she could call on me.”
If she could say anything to her 25-year-old self, it would simply be, “Go home.” Home is where you find security, safety, and love. It’s where you can go and ask for help. But so many people suffering with addiction are left homeless, with no one and nowhere to turn to.
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May God's blessings rest on you.