Sherry was adopted as a child and felt a rejection and abandonment that would plague her for most of her life. During her teenage years growing up in Los Angeles, friends introduced her to alcohol and marijuana. “I used to go out of my way to prove I was something,” she remembers, “but I didn’t even know who I was.” It was not until she was into her 30’s that Sherry realized she had a problem with substance abuse. By this time, she was a wife and mother of four children. Sherry went in and out of jail and lost job after job as a result of her destructive lifestyle.
Sherry writes, “I have contentment and confidence in God; there used to be such a strong need for anything else to fill that void. Now its like, ‘Okay, God, what are you trying to show me; what should I be moving forward in?’”
Although she attempted to get treatment for her addiction more than once, permanent recovery remained elusive. A referral from a counselor led Sherry to the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. “I had heard about the Rescue Mission in passing,” she explains, “but I never thought much about it. But once I got to Bethel House, I knew I was home.”
During her year in the residential program, Sherry went through a process of facing the deep hurt that she had been running from since her childhood. One day at a time, Sherry began to explore the root issues fueling her addictions. She asked a lot of questions, applied herself diligently to her counseling workbook, and learned to be truly honest with herself and other for the first time. Simple lessons like learning discipline, setting boundaries and receiving forgiveness had significant results. Sherry’s relationships with her children, now grown, were transformed. “So much has happened in my heart…” she reflects, “in my entire life.” One of the Bethel House volunteers, Shirley, became Sherry’s mentor. The women developed a wonderful relationship that is a source of encouragement and friendship and still continues to this day.
Today, Sherry is excited to be working full-time at the Rescue Mission’s main facility on Yanonali Street. She encounters many women who call in seeking help and she tells them “If you really want what is offered here, your recovery will happen.” Sherry’s life is living proof.