“Before the program, I was highly addicted to heroin. It brought me to the lowest of the low in my life. I was stealing from my family, from anyone I could possibly get to, which landed me in jail –where I realized I needed a program.
About a month into my program, I relapsed, but I knew that wasn’t the life I wanted. I felt guilty the minute I did it. I told myself I wanted to go back to the program instead of running and going back to my addiction. So I returned, told on myself, and the House of Hope staff gave me the option of starting my program over.
Towards the end of the program, I got pregnant. The staff allowed me to finish the program because I had accomplished so much. I graduated in February and had my daughter in May. Since then, I’ve gotten my high school diploma and I’m completing college credits in dental school.
Looking at my daughter, I thank God everyday that I had her in a good time in my life, rather than back where I used to be.
If I had her while I was still in my addiction, she probably would’ve been taken from me.
When I look at her, I see a little me. I want to keep her from becoming what I became. I think she’s what I needed in my life. Raising a kid isn’t easy, but mostly, I just want her to grow up with all the love and support that she needs. I don’t want to be too strict, but I don’t want her to have all the freedom that I did. I had too much freedom growing up and my addiction started when I was thirteen.
Because I’d been using since I was thirteen, there were life skills I never learned. Being in the program taught me all the things that you’re supposed to know: how to get up to go to work, do my own laundry, cooking and cleaning.
I’ll admit, I’m not attending church as regular as I probably should. It does take a toll on me because I used to attend every Sunday when I was in the program.
After I had my baby, I went through postpartum. I was depressed and a little different, I lacked the social skills I used to have, and my anxiety grew. I would beat myself up because I wasn’t succeeding in life like I thought I should be.
So, in a way my relationship with God isn’t as close as it used to be when I was in the program, but I am a firm believer and I hold onto that.
When I’m feeling down, I have to remind myself that I’m doing a good job. I’m not doing heroin, I’m not stealing, and I don’t hang out with the people that I used to. Even though I don’t have any friends and I’m not social like I used to be, I’d rather be unsocial than surround myself with those people because I could easily slip.
I have to remind myself that I’m not who I used to be.
There is no relationship with her dad. We don’t speak, he doesn’t see her. He came the day she was born, but hasn’t seen her since then. I came to see him when she was a month old, but he never showed up to his own house. He says he wants to see her, but she’s getting to the age where it’ll confuse her. I told him in the beginning that he’s either in or he’s out. He's not going to call on holidays or wish her happy birthday. I don’t want her to know him, and then one day ask where he is and I won’t know. It makes me sad that it’s just me, but it’s better this way..
Layla means everything to me. She’s a momma’s girl. Sometimes I can’t stop smiling, sometimes I cry, when I look at her. I wouldn’t change anything. I couldn’t picture my life before the program, before her, and without the program she wouldn’t be here.
I want success and happiness for her; to be a kid, to have family that loves her, to one day see me get married, to have a father figure, to grow up and know she had a healthy, happy childhood.”
Jamie Rogers • VRM Life Change Academy Graduate