Sometimes a Maggie’s Place mom will share her story in depth, the good and the bad. Today, we hear from Cystalann who tells us about her journey to The Elizabeth House.
“This is my story about my life prior to finding Maggie’s Place. I am celebrating a number of accomplishments in my life today. I am five months sober from all mind altering substances. I am working full time at McDonald’s and learning skills needed to receive my G.E.D. These three accomplishments mean a lot to me. Why? Before I found the strength and courage to make the phone call, I was experiencing a lot of problems with my lifestyle and relationships. I’m expecting a baby boy named David and a baby girl named Delaney, due 8-9-19.
I’m an addict and have been using since age 14. I have four other children not including the twins I’m pregnant with, and I no longer have parental rights to my other children. A year ago I was homeless and using heroin and meth (IV use). My life was utter chaos. Not only was I staying up for days at a time, but me and my boyfriend were fighting more and more causing us to separate, and that would leave me alone on the streets of Mesa and Tempe. This is far from safe for a young female such as myself. I’ve had times where I couldn’t remember how I ended up in certain areas. My heroin addiction was getting the best of me and more dangerous than ever since I would inject it. I overdosed 6 times in just the last year alone! I should not be alive today.
One of those times I ended up in the ICU for five days and hospital eight days. Yes! It scared the crap out of me but not enough to make me not use again just a week later. I was suffering from a lot of depression from choices I made in times of separation from my boyfriend. I would sleep with dudes or females when we would fight and that just is not the person I am. This made me feel guilty in my heart knowing I was hurting the one I love, so when I had to face it I just didn’t want to.
I would run away to the drug heroin, but like full force with the mind set of not wanting to continue my life anymore. For some reason I was found every time I overdosed either by a friend or complete stranger. Five out of six times I was hospitalized and every time brought back by Narcan. My last overdose was December 4, 2018. God has a special purpose for my life and I’m not meant to die just yet. My story is meant to save others and give them hope and to bring more souls to Christ our Lord and Savior!
I found out I was pregnant and got clean December 15. Even after I got clean I was still struggling with my living situation. I was still homeless. My boyfriend, Michael, never gave up on me and even though I hurt him at times, he forgave me. He knew places where we could stay the night so we wouldn’t be outside and I’m so thankful for him. This still consisted of walking around a lot during the day and sometimes at night because we really couldn’t just post up at one person’s house. My boyfriend got arrested on Valentine’s Day. This left me with nowhere to go and all alone. A friend of mine, Nikki, informed me about Maggie’s Place. She is a mom at The Michael house.
Even after knowing about the program I still couldn’t find it in me to make the phone call. I don’t know; something about asking for help and change just really frightened me. After living in a bad environment for about a month where people were constantly using and smoking, I started to feel out of place. Again I reached out to my friend asking her all kinds of questions about the program. I still didn’t make the call.
Not until I was told I had three days to find somewhere to go did I decide to call; What could it hurt?
“No beds.” The lady I spoke to told me to keep trying, but I didn’t call again for another week. I called again and went to my first intake. Waiting to see if I would get a second intake felt like forever. I felt in my heart that everything would be okay. Just got to keep my faith! I got the call to go to the second intake. At my second intake I met with Natalie and Christina.
Let me just say they are amazing and the first day I met them I was amazed by how happy they were. I remember thinking, “Wow, I would love to be so happy.”
Now I know why. Maggie’s Place is all about, “LOVE, HOSPITALITY, COMMUNITY, AND EXCELLENCE” The Elizabeth House is so full of peace, love, and happiness. I’ve been here since March and since coming here, I have been super resilient. I am very proud of myself. Most people from my past thought I would never be here today. Now those people can look at my story and believe they have a chance to have a stable lifestyle. All I want is to help others who are struggling.
When I first moved in my plan was to only stay until my boyfriend was sentenced to prison and then move to Arkansas with my mother. God had other plans for my life. He opened this door and I chose to walk thru it and accept this new beginning. I decided to stay here and learn the skills I will need to live on my own, to be a productive member of the community and not have to depend on others unless I really need help, like I do now.
It wasn’t easy telling my mom I wouldn’t be going there. There comes a time in life where we all need to make decisions for our own lives and not let other people distract us from becoming the person we want to be. I will say one thing though. It was God’s Grace that saved my life and gave me my faith! Jesus Christ who died for my sins so I could be saved today! Beautiful! AMAZING GRACE!
Thank you for your time,