by Rege Gilmore
I awake each day same time, same place, same conditions as though I live in a capsule of deja vu. I try so very hard not to look at my situation as failure yet more as a moment of clarity. Trying to fit all of what others need me to do into a time block of time running out. I pray, I hope, and I struggle to maintain faith, but the conditions I clearly see have taken a position of residency in my less than productive life…so it seems! Don’t mistake what I am saying as if I’m complaining, I’m clearly chiseling broken pieces of painful residue invading my space. Suicidal thoughts lie in the crevices of my mind, yet afraid to tell anyone because then I would be subject to undergo mental evaluation. I’m not suicidal but I will admit countless thoughts have passed me and some have either walked beside me and or have stood still while at the crossroad. Habitually homeless, spirit dead in a maze of constant tears silently streaming down my face when no one was watching. Wanting to pick up a crack stem and blast away all memory of anything that caused instability. When time stands still I begin to feel alone and excluded from all good. I attended NA meetings that only remind me that when I leave to make sure I stop at the store for choy, stem, and lighter. Oh and don’t forget the crack! Everybody has a solution but not one wants to really listen to my pain that yells louder than the words. Does anyone care or is it just another payday for the educated. More meds for that out of body experience that leads to more depression after they’ve done their part for a brief moment only to addict them to another substance called excuses. We sit behind the back of computers as they look at the screen typing anything that comes to mind, and then tell you to sign what they’ve interpreted from what you’ve said. Later to find that you’ve signed your life over to the system that fails you everyday. They systematically place you in a nonexistent file of cold cases gone wrong…
By Stephanie Thomas
Drug addiction is a growing problem, destroying lives, and stealing the future from our young people. With an increasing need and insufficient resources, help is not always available. But for a few, there is Hannah’s Haven.
The faces of the recovering addicts at Hannah’s Haven were those of 4 young women. Before I arrived for the interview, I didn’t realize I had met them before. At the time I thought they were college students. They didn’t look like recovering drug addicts. They looked like young women, which of course, is exactly who they are.
Hannah’s Haven is a Teen Challenge addiction recovery facility specifically designed for young women. Located in Brown Summit, the 3 bedroom house is surrounded by woods and fields, in an atmosphere that is quiet and peaceful. Every aspect of the house feels like a home. It’s comfortable, nicely decorated, and spotless. The most recent update to the bathrooms, we’re done by the residence.
I sat down with the director and founder Bonnie Harris. Her dedication and compassion are apparent. She shared with me her personal story of recovery from drug addiction and how she felt God used that struggle to bring her to a place of helping others. She in turn shares these personal lessons with her residence, which helps them in their recovery.
The residence enter a structured and well disciplined program, rising each day at 6:00 am, working through classes, counseling, and doing chores. Admittance can cost up to a $1000, but Bonnie said she wants recovery to be affordable so she does not let a lack of financial resources keep someone from entering the program.
Ninety-six young women have gone through the 9-12 month recovery program since Hannah’s Haven first opened its doors over a decade ago. Many of those women have gone on to live happy and productive lives.
“Addiction is just what we see,” Bonnie said. “It is merely a symptom of what is really going on inside. When you take the drug away you are left with the individual. Sometimes that individual has to get in touch with who they are. We take them on a deep journey, back to the first time they felt rejection and then we work towards healing and recovery.”
Bonnie invited me to join the morning class. The girls were working through a study book with lessons and scripture. The book and the discussion were designed to teach good life choices, and change old patterns into healthy ones. The women were open about their issues and struggles. One of the women, who had served in a ministry, shared her effort to find recovery.
“In desperation I moved to a new place. I thought the change would help, but I took my problems with me.”
In spite of her good intentions, she found recovery impossible to achieve on her own. But now, with the help of the staff at Hannah’s Haven, she is making progress.
The biggest challenge for Hannah’s Haven is money. Fundraising is a large part of what Bonnie does. Besides the day to day expenses, she wants to expand the facility to make room for more women. Also in the planning stages is a thrift shop that will help the organization be more self-sufficient.
If you are interested in having Bonnie Harris speak to your organization or church about Hanna’s Haven, she is available.