Meet Brianna

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I grew up around addiction. Both of my parents were addicts, and because of that, I had to grow up fast. At 12 years old, I started smoking and sneaking out of my house. I have been my family’s caregiver my whole life and have been handed a lot of responsibility. At 20 years old, after my grandfather passed away, I inherited a 150-year-old wholesale produce business. I became responsible for my grandmother, who has never had to write a check in her life. They were very big shoes to fill. I thought I could handle it, but I succumbed to the pressure. When I was 23, I began using methamphetamine, which took everything from me. My job, house, car, and relationships were all gone in an instant. I did not have a lot of guidance in life. As a result, I sold our family business for half its worth after working more than 35 hours at a Metallica concert at SunTrust Park. I was praised for my “resiliency,” but I was tired of always being expected to handle adversity on top of adversity that was being passed to me. It needed to end.

I am mandated to be at the Mission, but I am very grateful for God’s timing that brought me here. My pregnancy forced me to become sober but losing my mom 20 days before my daughter was born was more than I could bear. On September 12, 2023, I relapsed while grieving my mother. This relapse landed me a possession charge on her birthday. While at the Mission, my dad passed away after a long battle with cancer. I am unsure I would be alive today if I had not been at the Mission.

In the past, I’ve always lived in survival mode, “fight or flight,” and have always run to drugs or alcohol to numb my pain. I truly believe God brought me here for a purpose: to save my life. Other than two years of sobriety, this is the first time I’ve been sober in fifteen years, and it feels incredible. After a long time, I finally feel my worth. I feel like I am valuable. I am truly ready to make this change for myself and my daughter. For the first time now, I have a close relationship with God that I never thought possible. I am truly blessed. I’m no longer an anxiety-filled addict but a daughter of the Highest God, and I feel at peace.

I’ve finally made it past the uncomfortable phase of learning to be sober, and now the walls I’ve built so high are coming down. There was a day when I could not have imagined making it this far, but now I’m excited about my future. After graduation, I plan to move to Augusta to start a new life while building on my solid foundation in Jesus Christ. I have a background in the entertainment production industry, and I hope to further my career in that area by working on live events, theatrical productions, and arena concerts.

The most important thing I’ve learned during my recovery at the Rescue Mission is that healthy boundaries are necessary. I have learned how to say “no” without feeling guilty, set higher standards for myself, and stand up for myself. I’ve learned that the generational curses must end with me. I don’t have to carry around this trauma and be a victim, but I can be, and I am, a survivor. I can continue to improve myself and become the best mom for my daughter. Growing up with parents who were addicted and neglectful has shown me how I want to be there for my daughter and show her that she will never have to second-guess my love. My past does not define me, and the future is mine. “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Click here to download the May 2024 issue of The Mission Bell..