My name is Lauren Collins and I am 32 years old. I grew up in New Iberia, LA. I have an amazing family and grew up going to church, but I never truly knew God or understood who He was. At a young age depression and anger set in. After High School, I went to college, but lost my scholarship due to my addiction. By the age of 19 I experienced my first rehab & 12- step program. This was just the beginning of a whirlwind of multiple rehabs, lies, burned bridges, deceit, and pain. At 24 I married a man who became my world and “my reason for living.” All my time, love and energy was spent on this man whom I loved with every bit of my heart. It ended up breaking me, emotionally beating me down and picking me apart mentally, causing me to sink deeper into my addiction.
I was trying to find my value and identity in behavioral hospitals, psych meds and a new diagnosis. In 2013 the marriage finally ended. I thought I was free to finally be me, but I sunk even deeper into a pit of darkness and defeat. I was so lost. After going to jail for my 3rd DWI, I had enough. I promised God if I got out I would change. I even told the same lie to my family. I was sober, but still very miserable. I quickly fell back into old disgusting ways. I was tired, exhausted, worn out and no longer had anymore fight left in me. I thought the only way out of this hell “was to die.” I thought this had to be Hell, why did God make me this way? So I tried to kill myself by shoving pill after pill down my throat, ready to be done…to not hurt any longer. Well, God was not done with me. I ended up in a coma a week later. I woke up with complete loss of all my motor skills. However, God healed me. My eyes were opened and I started to understand that there is a God and I needed Him. I just did not fully understand how to achieve a relationship with Him yet. I spent the next year searching and going back to church. Still not understanding, still relapsing. I believed the lie that I could never change and I just wanted to give up. So I tried to end my life again. This time was different, pill after pill, trying to pass out just lying there waiting. But then I begin crying out to God for help. He heard my cries and I heard about Adult and Teen Challenge. On February 4, 2016, my life began. I entered the doors of ATC and have not looked back. God now has my heart. He does pick me apart, but He also lifts me up. He is my Savior. I have found that peace I have been searching for. For so long I was trapped in darkness, full of lies and wickedness. It was an emptiness that only God can fill. I have found a joy no drug could ever fill. I have freedom! No longer do I suffer with addiction and depression. God is my deliverer. The Scripture that I stand on is found in 1 John 4:10, “this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.“