“I was lost, but now I’m filled with hope.”
Nicole was a sad and anxious little girl, overwhelmed by her emotions. “I struggled with really intense feelings that nobody else could understand,” she says. “I started seeing a counselor when I was 12 and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression at 17.”
She was placed on disability and prescribed medications. But they didn’t work, and she began numbing her pain with alcohol.
For more than 20 years, Nicole struggled with depression and addiction, unable to develop healthy relationships with her children or engage with life. “Instead of embracing the things that were good for me—family, education, jobs—I didn’t want anything to do with them. I resented them,” she says.
Finally, she’d had enough. She was desperate for a different kind of life than she’d been living. “I said, ‘I can’t give in to the anxiety and depression anymore.’ I was ready to do whatever it took to change.”
It was then she turned to our Higher Ground addiction recovery program for help. Through mental health counseling, Nicole was placed on medication that effectively treats her depression and anxiety. “I finally found stability in my life,” she says.
Chapel services and Bible studies led her to surrender her life to the Lord. And biblical counseling and life-skills classes have taught her how to engage with life and build healthy relationships with her children. “I’ve learned social skills, job skills, how to maintain my sobriety, and how to stay in community,” she says. “Now, I know how to care for and value my relationships with others and with God.”
“I never realized life could be this good or fulfilling.”
Nicole graduated and went into our Equip program, further strengthening her faith while serving other guests within our ministry. “I really appreciate helping others,” she says.
As Nicole celebrates this Thanksgiving, she feels incredibly thankful for your compassion, prayers, and support—and how it’s given her a fresh start. “Now I have a deep appreciation of people and of life.”
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