Drug dependency and addiction are not fastidious and can affect anyone at any time, regardless of their race, gender, age, religion, or social standing. 

Despite the many heart-wrenching stories about drug abuse, there are also those filled with hope, determination, and victory. One of these stories belongs to Lindy Ferreira, a member of the #ImStaying Facebook Group who, after being an addict for close on 5 years, is finally free of the clutches of substance abuse. 

Here is her story:

I was an addict for nearly 5 years. I started making wrong choices simply to be accepted by people – the wrong people. It was a choice I made and I really can’t blame anyone but myself for it. I met my late husband when I started using. At first, we only used CAT but then I saw him and his friends try other things and I became curious.

I was hooked as soon as I took my first hit of heroin. I started using more and got sick shortly afterward, not understanding what was happening to me. It was only once I started hanging out more with the Nyaope addicts that it dawned on me – I was an addict. After a while smoking no longer had an effect on me and I started injecting myself. I started begging at robots and stop streets just to be able to afford my next fix. Things got so bad that we ended up staying in a garage.

I tried quitting twice before. The first time I was on medication and moved back to my parents for support. I decided to go back to my husband and instantly relapsed. It was at this point in time that I received a stern warning from my doctor. He told me that death is becoming a very real possibility as my organs were on the brink of failing. I was admitted to hospital and once again tried to get clean. I failed and relapsed even worse.

Many people reached out to me and offered assistance.

I refused to listen to reason as I was only living for my next fix. During the course of 2017, I received a phone call from my sister and it was then that I decided ‘no more’. She arranged for me to be admitted to a rehabilitation facility and I was admitted within a week. I was scared to leave my husband behind but knew it was my only chance to get clean. I made the decision to divorce my husband as two addicts together are a recipe for disaster.

I was in the Freedom Recovery Centre for three months.  When I was discharged I made a promise to myself that I would not relapse. Three months later my husband passed away. This was another eye-opener for me – I would never use again! I met someone and was in a relationship for a while. Although things between us didn’t work out I did become a mom to a beautiful little boy who keeps motivating me every day to live a good, happy, and clean life. Some days I still doubt myself and things aren’t always easy but at least I have my family for support as we have once again grown very close to one another.

I want everyone who is in the same position as me to know that there is no shame in asking for help.

I also want to encourage the families and friends of addicts to not be afraid to bestow some tough love on their troubled loved ones. It saved my life!

I will forever be grateful to Pastor Derick Matthews and everyone else at the Freedom Recovery Centre. They have provided me with all the necessary support and tools to live each day with purpose.

Remember that not every day will be filled with moonlight and roses but that even on your worst days, you are worthy of all of life’s blessings.

About the Freedom Recovery Centre

The Freedom Recovery Centre started from very humble beginnings but has grown in leaps and bounds since it first opened its doors 11 years ago. To date, it has assisted more than 9,000 addicts, served in excess of 900,000 plates of food, and has been actively involved in establishing 11 organizations that serve recovering addicts.