When you hate yourself as much as I did, it's amazing how much pain and humiliation you're willing to endure. In December 2014, I was hopelessly addicted to painkillers and cocaine. I was so depressed, I cut myself just to feel something. Anything. I was broke and homeless. And despite the brutal cold, I called a porta-potty home.
When I was a kid, I was super close to my mom. But my stepdad and I didn't get along at all. I felt like everything I did was wrong. I wasn't tall and skinny. I wasn't a straight-A student. I felt put down in a thousand ways and I believed my stepdad didn't like me. So I didn't like me either.
After my mom died when I was 17, and my sister died in a car accident, there was no love in my life. I finished high school, left home and fell into partying and drugs to hide my self-hatred and all my feelings. Before long, I couldn't work and ended up alienating everyone so badly, I had nowhere to live. Except the porta-potty.
But in January 2015, I came to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. I never wanted anything to do with God before. But I picked up a Bible for the first time and read, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18, NIV). Love. It's what I needed. So I gave my life to God, and everything started to change.
The people on staff here loved me. The guys I'm in the program with here, they loved me. Then I found a church, and they loved me. And not long ago, I called my stepdad. We had a long talk — and he not only took responsibility for things he said, he ended up telling me he loved me.
I spent my whole life thinking I wasn't good enough or worthy to live. But I found love at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. I am no longer afraid. You saved my life.