September is National Recovery Month, and this particular September there are a number of folks on my mind who are desperate for a recovery. Whether it’s a violent childhood, drug or alcohol addiction, sexual abuse, toxic relationships, or trauma, many of our friends and neighbors are fighting an internal battle; and they need us to meet them at the front-lines.
Janet, a young lady here in Los Angeles, knows this first hand. When she arrived here at the LA Dream Center, she revealed that she grew up in a toxic, violent home. Her father was a drug addict who was abusive towards her mother and then eventually to Janet herself. “I grew up used, neglected, abandoned, corrupted and twisted,” she told us.
Those words break my heart.
At the innocent age of 12, Janet turned to heavy drinking and prescription pills to try and numb her deep pain. This spiraled into a meth addiction and a horrendous relationship with another meth addict. “I’ll never forget when he kept me locked in his room for two months with little food and water,” Janet went on to tell us. “I was broken and my soul was damaged. I lost custody of my three children, my house, my car, and I almost lost my life by trying to commit suicide several times.”
I’m happy to report that Janet’s story doesn’t end like this. She reached out to us for help, was healed of her addiction, and is now thanking God for a new lease on life. She’s even looking forward to being reunited with her children some day soon.
Matthew Barnett is the co-founder of the Los Angeles Dream Center and senior pastor of Angelus Temple. The Los Angeles Dream Center is a faith-based non-profit dedicated to transforming the lives of individuals and families in Los Angeles through residential and outreach programs.