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Hello, my name is Tandra. Before I came to Teen Challenge my life was a complete disaster. I started using meth when I was 17 years old, right after my son Keiler was born. Once I started I just couldn’t stop. I loved this drug and what it did for me. It gave me confidence that I never had before. It made me lose weight fast when I have struggled with weight my entire life. It gave me energy to keep up with my son and then some. I was invincible. I could do anything and everything! But…it also destroyed mine and my family’s life.

Two years of using and going from just snorting it to injecting it led to my house getting raided by the police. My son’s father ended up going to jail for 2 months, and my son was taken away by the state. I was completely devastated. Thankfully, my parents took on the task of raising my son when I was unable to. But I had nothing and no one, as much as it broke my heart, I kept using.

A few months later I checked into a 90-day inpatient rehab, but I wasn’t ready. I kept using even while I was there and eventually got kicked out. I was so hopeless and so addicted. I used for a few more months until I just couldn’t handle it. I was homeless, jobless, and I didn’t have my son. So I checked into yet another rehab. But this time I was able to have my now 3 year old son there with me! All I had to do was complete this program and I would have my son back! I was overjoyed! And five and a half months later, we completed! We moved back home and got our own apartment. Kieler started Head Start. My family trusted me… Life was finally on track. I had 10 months clean when one day I got a phone call. It was my sons father… Within an hour we were both high again. That night my sons father ended up in the hospital and almost died. When DHS found out, Kieler was taken again and stayed with my parents. A few weeks later I made the hardest decision of my entire life… I signed over all my rights and my parents became the legal guardians of my son.

At the time I had lost everything all over again and had nowhere to go. I had left the state and stayed with family. I kept thinking that if I could just get away and start over I would do it the right way… But the truth is I was just running away. But there was no escaping myself. I used the entire time I was there and quickly got sent back home. I used for another year straight. I started doing things I never imagined myself ever doing. Lying, stealing, cheating. Anything to get more drugs. I was in a relationship with a man that abused me in every way. And I had stopped seeing my son all together. My life was consumed with getting high. I had no hope and I had no life. I was broken, beaten down, and tormented by guilt. Death became an appealing thought. But then my mother asked me to go out to breakfast and while there she asked me if I would go to Teen Challenge. I had nothing to lose. I didn’t think it would work since I’d already been to two other rehabs. But I said yes. Believing whole heartedly that it wouldn’t help.

After just a few short weeks at Hannah’s House, being surrounded by all the love and support of the staff/students I rededicated my life to Jesus Christ and made a real commitment to walk in his will. Ever since that day my outlook on life has changed. I now have a hope for my future, for my son, and for my family. Jeramiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” That is exactly what God has given me, real hope!

This program is teaching me how to live without drugs. Its teaching me to lean on God through the good and the bad times. Although its hard and it hurts to actually deal with the hurt, the guilt, and the disappointments. It’s not the same kind of hurt because I’m learning to overcome it instead of cover it up! It is giving me a joy and a peace that can’t be taken away. My faith in God and the confidence I have in Him and myself is growing more and more every day. God is good! He is restoring me and my family from the inside out! I am so thankful that Jesus died for my sin’s and gave me the opportunity to have eternal life with Him! Colossians 1:13-14 says: He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” I am truly set free from my addiction and from Satan’s grasp! I am free to live with Jesus! Thank you Lord!