This is Christie.

It was her first day at her new job after being laid off. She was ready to be an administrator and start a new life. However, she was having a hard time filling out her paperwork. She was having a hard time getting the information from her brain to her hand and onto the paper. When she had finished, she was completely exhausted.

Over the course of the next two weeks, she found she was running out of mental and physical energy after two or three tasks a day. This wasn’t normal for her. She had always been a hard working go-getter. She had strived to exceed expectations in her previous jobs and was thrown off by simple tasks causing her so much stress and exhaustion.

Christie’s stress continued to build, but it wasn’t due to her new job. She survived an abusive marriage and was finalizing their divorce, a process taking more than a year due to complications. She had been laid off and was suffering from a lifetime of stuffing her stress and failures deep inside while she carried the load alone—failed marriages, close friends and family passing away suddenly, and constantly worrying for her son.

As her stress was incapacitating her at work, she resigned, and she and her son moved in with her parents. And her condition worsened.

She was shaking nonstop, unable to move herself, and seriously contemplating suicide. With the help of family, she committed herself to St. Joe Psychiatry Hospital. They described her condition as, “Adjustment disorder with chronic anxiety and severe depression.” 

Her nervous system was overloaded from the effects of the trauma she had been through. They administered medication and went through genetic testing, and long term she has been taking vitamins to help clear her mind. Over time, she started volunteering at the Hope Center and the Humane Society as she developed her skills and abilities.

While she was recovering, she began attending a codependency class and Celebrate Recovery. She was addicted to the fear of failure. So she started a six-month step study.

“The women [of Celebrate Recovery] accepted me with all my shame, fear, and self-hatred.”

“By the end of the step study, God drew me closer to Him and I began to blossom with the incredible support I received from my counselor, my sponsor, my accountability partners, my family, and many others.”

With so many friends around her, she began attending a CARE Group and joined a Me & 3 to continue to develop her support network. 

“At one point, I looked at all the relationships I have here and I counted 75. I had never had support like this. It is incredible.”

Today, she is taking new steps and breaking the old bonds holding her back from functioning.

Where she would once say, “I can’t,” she now says, “I can.”

Where she believed, “I am unworthy,” she now believes, “I am loved and valued.”

Where she previously thought, “I messed up too much,” she now thinks, “I am forgiven.”

And previously she said, “I am nothing.” Now she now knows, “I matter.”

Christie has been able to learn forgiveness for herself and others. She has freedom from anxiety, worry, shame, and guilt. God has shown her that she has an encouraging heart. And she continues to grow and develop as she works through codependency and control issues in her own life.

Having just received her two-year chip at Celebrate Recovery, Christie looks forward to finishing her bachelor’s degree in Administrative Medical Assistant with a minor in Addiction Studies. She looks to use her experiences and skills to continue to help others who are recovering from domestic violence.