Learning to Forgive Yourself: With God’s Unconditional Love

Heather Fitzsimmons is a mother, the case manager overseeing 453 men at a homeless shelter, and a recovered addict.

Heather is a student of the Recovery Speaker: Share Your Story Powerfully Course with a message of no matter what your past looks like, there is hope, joy and fulfillment in your life in recovery.

Heather is coming into the show to share her story with us and how she was able to forgive herself for the things she will share with us from her past, through a deep connection with and understanding of God’s unconditional and overwhelming love.

For more information about Recovered On Purpose and to see all the free resources available for addicts, loved ones of addicts, and addicts in recovery, visit: https://RecoveredOnPurpose.com

Read The Transcript Below

good morning good morning everybody Welcome to the recovered on purpose show guest Saturdays thanks so much for being here I have a super special guest today I’m excited to introduce you all to Heather Fitzsimmons he’s a good friend and has an amazing story enjoy the show and keep living recovered on purpose

the black represents the darkness from which we came the white represents the light in which we now live and the red represents the passion it takes to live recovered on purpose

what’s up family good to see you all happy happy weekend good morning happy Saturday let me know where you’re coming in from clean and sober dates are always welcome we love to celebrate here and this is guest Saturdays and today I have Heather Simmons a good friend of mine and Heather is a mother the case manager overseeing 453 men at a homeless shelter and a recovered addict Heather is a student of the recovery speaker share your story powerfully course with a message of no matter what your past looks like there is hope joy and fulfillment in your life in recovery Heather is coming into the show to share her story with us and how she was able to forgive herself for the things she will share with us from her past through a deep connection with and understanding of God’s unconditional and overwhelming love I’m super excited to introduce you all to Heather Fitzsimmons what’s up Heather good morning how are you doing amazing doing amazing what’s going on out there in Colorado not much it’s a beautiful day sunny and clear amen we got Crystal coming in much love family good to see you crystal Jeremy coming in good morning Jeremy good to see you brother January 16 2022 happy almost nine months we got 15 more days crystal says yay Heather uh happy Saturday from Brian Ohio what’s up Tanya good to see you William coming in from Bremerton Washington 32 days sober let’s go brother let’s go congratulations keep it moving glad that you are here happy you’re here Tanya coming in October 10th uh coming up on a year let’s go Tanya let’s go Lisa with uh May 28 2019 happy uh belated like four months five months good to see you big love always for this family and network amen good to see you Heidi good to see you coming in from Portland Oregon crystal says yay Jeremy good morning Heather you’re awesome Jeremy says you’re awesome a Facebook user says Hey family hey I’m guessing that might be Catherine I don’t know I don’t know why it keeps saying Facebook user doesn’t put your name up there Crystal hi oh Kimberly must be here too we got another hey family hey from Arkansas what’s up Jennifer good to see you what’s up John DeYoung good to see you brother thanks for being here man John’s got a uh a water filtration company that he takes out to you know in need countries he goes out to India a lot and uh his water filter is like the best in the world literally they can take water from a river that’s completely contaminated with like all the diseases and dirt and everything and they can completely purify it to like daisani water so pretty cool good to see you John Jeremy good to see you good to see you 14 days away from 20 months let’s go thank you I’m so proud thanks to recovering on purpose love you Tanya good to see you all right Heather let’s get into it amen so tell me first you said something before the show and I want you to let the audience know what the point of your story is and why you’re here okay um the entire purpose of telling my story is just I want people to know just the greatness of God and just how much grace and forgiveness he has an unconditional love that you know no matter what we do or what we think we’ve done that nothing is too great that he won’t forgive us or help us get our lives back amen amen and you told me that you know as you as you share your story you want people to know that it was it was all God like it was God that did did these things for you um and I think that’s amazing you know I say the same thing and I have a lot of people that say you know especially people that don’t believe like you gotta you gotta give yourself credit you were the one that did it you were the one that did the work and I’m like yeah I get that I get that I had to do some steps and things but in all reality I’m I’m aware that it was God is that your that you’re feeling too yeah I mean I definitely made all the bad decisions but he gave me the courage and the strength um to take the leaps of faith that got me clean and sober you know what I mean I I walked the steps but he provided the opportunity amen amen so let’s get into it so how did your how did your actual like real strong drug addiction start how did that start um well it was 2005

working 60 hours a week at two jobs and overwhelmed from being a new mother my sweet boys were two years old and nine months old and I recently been diagnosed with postpartum depression and psychosis my husband and I had to had conversations about me potentially getting another place but nothing had ever really been decided um and then that was the first week of April I made an executive decision and I got some help and moved most of my belongings to my new apartment and that day my husband came home to a house in a family that I had completely abandoned um I didn’t trust myself with them I didn’t trust myself period um and uh I mean I really I thought that I would get help I truly believe that I could gain some control over my life however the sh like the shame um over like what I had done overpowered my existence what I didn’t know was how much worse things were gonna get and what I did know was that as long as I kept getting high it really didn’t seem to hurt quite as bad um yeah and I I know that people that are listening uh you know we’ve all been to a point where the only thing we knew how to do to numb the pain or to get through the day was to get high right and so that was that was where you found yourself yeah where did that where did that start like what was your what was your childhood like am I an amazing childhood honestly I grew up in the mountains of Colorado uh the Christian family I was homeschooled my parents always very very supportive of everything that we did um at one point in time like we wanted to raise me my two younger sisters wanted to raise guide dogs for the Blind and we did that through a 4-H program and we raised three and after we had raised them all our parents actually took us to San Rafael California and we got to see like where they trained to be guide dogs and um just some of the rigorous training that they go through that was pretty amazing but just a testament to just how encouraging you know what I mean our parents were so yeah so they so you had a dream you wanted to do something in your childhood you had those supportive parents you had you know a Christian upbringing and that kind of stuff so how does that how does that turn into you know addiction there’s there’s some of us that you know like me I didn’t have serious childhood trauma I didn’t have the you know the parents that were using drugs in front of me nothing like that and I still found myself you know being influenced into using cocaine when I was 12 years old you know so what was the uh what was the turning point where you got introduced to drugs where you you know started to notice that numbness to Life by using drugs oh when I was like 15 I had polycystic ovarian syndrome and um one like I’ve said cysts on my ovaries and that was extremely painful and I’m dramatic at times especially when I was younger and uh I’d gone to the emergency room and excruciating pain and um was given IV fentanyl now that was not where my drug addiction started but that definitely was where this deed was planted because I remember just being like you know wow I mean I fell in love with it instantly I mean actually this day can remember that and didn’t start using drugs then but that was definitely a defining moment you know what I mean just the lack of feeling you know what I mean going from being excruciating pain and like you can’t even think to just being euphoric yeah and um you know it didn’t matter yeah they did matter I was just like oh this is great you know what I mean yeah yeah and I remember that also I got my wisdom teeth taken out when I was like maybe 13 12 or 13 right around the same time that I had that I had tried cocaine and I was given Vicodin and I had definitely arrived my goal in life and uh I think that there’s something to it because for some reason when my sister got her wisdom teeth taken out she just got sick from the painkillers you know she didn’t really like him you know I’ve met a lot of people that you know were able to go to the doctor get their prescription meds take them as prescribed right or not even take them all the way and it didn’t like change the course of their entire life do you think that you think there’s something different between us and other people where do you think that comes from absolutely I think honestly I think that it’s genetics I mean there is a history of addiction in my family which is why like my father doesn’t drink he saw his grandfather battle that addiction and my grandparents don’t abuse anything nobody in my family does because they saw the result of what happened I feel like I missed that in a way like I didn’t see the direct result and therefore wasn’t maybe as aware um of what you know potentially could happen I’m hoping that in my doing this my son skips my boys don’t you know struggle they see the direct results of what these choices yeah you can do do you know to your life to their life to their kids how long did they how long were you getting high in their life like you said that they were what six and nine months old they were two years old and nine months old and yeah and um I I left then I did get clean for a couple years and they would come over and visit my ex-husband was always very very supportive and never kept them from me all of the time that I spent not with them was more of my choice unfortunately that I did not want to introduce them to that life I didn’t want them to know those people but I I did get high around them at times yeah but there was never like you know they didn’t stay with me for a week and I was getting high that full time it was it was days yeah and how old are they now now they are 18 and 19. wow awesome amen so you try the IV fentanyl not you know you didn’t try it you were given it and where does where does that lead how does that how does that progress into what was going on um initially at the time like I did it you know and got sent home and that was kind of the end of it um but I think it was always just there in my mind um later in life I got prescribed again um prescription drugs for the same problem but take home Percocet and uh that the amount I guess that I took you know as opposed to like you said the prescribed amount um kind of led me back down that road yeah and did you have a did you ever overdose did anything ever like happen with the opiates um a lot of people have seen the video of me overdosing and that’s where a lot of our you know addictions lead did you ever experience anything like that I did actually um it wasn’t on opiates I during my um battle with postpartum depression and psychosis I had been prescribed um copious amounts of psych meds and was drinking alcohol and one night I’d gotten home from the bar and was living with my sister at the time and had gone up to our apartment and her and I got an argument and I went into the bathroom and took all of them the whole month’s worth you know I mean I was taking three different prescribed psych meds and a bottle of Tylenol and a bottle of Benadryl and then um at that time I was working in the emergency room as a physician’s assistant and um it apparently changed my mind and I started walking to the hospital and um made it to the ambulance Bay and remember seeing a friend of mine because I was currently working there so um and that was all I remember after that I remember blips like I woke up five pointed to a gurney um I remember yanking the NG tube out um and I remember the whole time my dad being there just hold my hand and begging me not to give up but it was uh overdose is terrible is yeah when when was that in comparison to when you first went to the hospital and got the IV fentanyl it was years later years later it was probably like 2006 okay when I did that yeah got it got it and then shortly after I left my kid got it okay um and tell me about what postpartum depression and psychosis looks like because I I had never before you and I met I had never heard about postpartum psychosis I had heard of the postpartum depression but what does psychosis look like what is that how does that show up um it’s it’s terrifying honestly like for me it affected me in ways like I didn’t feel like I could cope with my kids crying I felt like I was a bad mother because like I couldn’t cope with that and I couldn’t take care of the house and everything was just spiraling out of control and I was having serious thoughts of hurting my children because you know I felt like they’d be better off without me um you get to the point where you see and hear things or I did that were telling me you know they’d be better off without you um it’s it’s traumatic it’s scary because you know that it’s not real but at the same time your brain can’t really differentiate it when you’re that into it you know what I mean yeah and then is that does that have something to do with drugs or was it was it no that was more of like a hormone thing after you after you um have children in your hormones or really imbalanced and um it just it’s just a very like I don’t know I don’t really know anybody else has experienced it but the reason I ask because I get that a lot with my with my story when I met Jesus and I have to explain like nah I was I was five days clean and sober when that happened you know and like to make sure that people know that you know things happen without drugs that cause us to use drugs no I would definitely sober at that point in time when it started yeah yeah and then you move out um and then what’s going on with the with the pain meds with the you know the addiction how is it how’s it going out of control what’s going on in your life how is it affecting your life and your relationships with your family and stuff yeah it it got to a pretty dark place honestly a drug addiction I’ll take you to darker places than your imagination really can ever go my family was always very very supportive and wanted to help and would like take me to their house my parents would take me up to their house the mountains so I could detox or attempt to detox and take a shower and um eat you know my mom would feed me and do my laundry and um my dad was sick and had been prescribed pain medication and um one of the times that I had gone up there I was extremely thick and I’m 30 miles away from my drug dealer and um decided that I would help myself to his pain medication and so I would like to say this was the first time that I’d done this but it wasn’t and so I knew how to get in his room into the closet um into the lock box and then in the bag in the lock box and he’d done all this to keep me from getting into him right but I was able to get in there and back out um so quickly you know before he’d even noticed and one day um I’d done that it’s like we were watching TV and I was like I’m gonna use the restroom and I got up to use the restroom and I went out the other door and in to his room into his closet the duffel bag in the lock box and I opened it up and um instead of there being pain medication there was a note on a piece of um yellow legal pampered paper you know with them and it was on I had red sharpie yeah and then it’s just it’s disturbing still they said um is this how you want me to Remember You um and uh I remember just being angry you know that there were no meds there at the same time being devastated that he knew and he put that there knowing I was gonna do that and just waiting and I walked back into the living room and I didn’t not he never said anything that was that was the end of it and I would like to say that was where that ended but it was it you know what I mean yeah 100 and I had I remember one time uh I was super sick also and I was up in Montana it’s really hard to get like heroin up there uh the only pills that are really available were like oxycontins and things like that and one time the people I was staying with just so happened to leave their baggie of roxies out and I swooped them up and then uh I helped them look for him nice I don’t know I have no idea where they’re at oh anyway the Turning couches over and everything oh no I’ve never shared that story that’s crazy we go places in our addiction that we’re not we’re not super proud of right oh absolutely and there was another time um this was actually you know because of because of how it was being in my life and because of my addiction and the different things that were going on in my life um my girlfriend at the Times grandparents had a bunch of pills you know and they uh their pills got stolen someone actually broke into their house stole their prescriptions and everything and they immediately called the police and said it was me and I got interviewed by the police and everything and I had to like literally show the cameras of the hotel that I was staying at like 45 minutes away to show them like nah I wasn’t even anywhere near there right and um you know I found out a little while later who actually did it but I think there’s something to it that the way that we’re living you know it’s not far-fetched to blame me I was the most I was the most likely culprit at the time so I couldn’t get mad at them or anything and uh you know I sent a I sent in a men’s letter to them which which I felt you know good about um and it wasn’t for that it was about you know other things the way that I was in the relationship with her granddaughter and things like that uh have you talked to your dad about that instance

um yeah I have actually um and you know at that time I told him you know I would understand if you need to press charges because I took you know all of this pain medication like and in my addiction I didn’t think about him getting sick that he was gonna have to withdraw you know what I mean and be in pain you know what I mean and uh you know he he never did but you know I sat there with him for a couple days and we were and we were both sick and that was I don’t know no he he told me that he understood and that he forgave me and were you stealing your addiction when you had that conversation with him yep got it okay yeah and where are your parents at now they live in the the same house that I grew up in up in the mountains yeah yeah that’s a uh that sounds like a really cool amends conversation if you wanted to have it in recovery did you have it in your recovery have you had any recovery yeah yeah to them for several things that I’ve done and you know he just tells me you know just drop it like again I’ve forgiven you quit going back there like I’ve forgiven you God’s forgiven you just forgive yourself and just quit quit hanging on to it you know what I mean and just move forward amen yeah it’s interesting that you know we’ll find a lot of times in our recovery or in our addiction or wherever it’s at the the last person to forgive us is ourself oh absolutely that’s been the hardest thing people around us forgive us God already forgave us before we were born right but uh but yeah it’s the the hardest to forgive ourselves so after after your dad’s pain meds where does your where does your life go from there

so much uh perk is that that it was not affordable which was another reason that I was stealing it and I had after that little incident had switched to heroin because it was much more affordable um I was living in a trap house and um had a pretty reliable drug dealer um you know it didn’t matter what the weather was the guy always came um and I called him one day it was like December and it was snowing and I was living in Pueblo at the time and uh I hadn’t gotten out to get my money yet and was sick and I called him and he showed up like he always did and um you know I walked up to the window and I was like Hey I was feeling really bold so I was like you think you could front me for a couple hours um so I can get well so I can go get money so I can get more dope you know what I mean and uh he told me not only no but hell no he’s like you know you must have lost your mind and uh and I’d be like I told him I don’t have anything you know I don’t have any money and I don’t have anything that you want anything that I can trade and he kind of looked me up and down and said uh yes you do and uh it took me a second to like comprehend what he was suggesting and um kind of started crying and just looking at him and just in that moment deciding you know which was more important my dignity my self-worth like the part of my soul that this takes you know what I mean or getting well and uh and I got in the car with him and uh we drove off and I got well it was pretty it was it was a really rough decision at the time you know what I mean but not as rough as I maybe thought it should have been you know what I mean just the overwhelming feeling of the withdrawal and the being sick just kind of you know after the whole episode with my dad I really didn’t feel like that great of a person after leaving my children I didn’t really feel like that great of a person and figured the only person that this would be hurting was myself and um that quickly became my way of funding my addiction okay what did that look like um

just um getting it the person that I

met up with was and he was a rough dude you know I mean he had just gotten out of prison um

he you know didn’t care about me at all you know what I mean he I was an object um he cared about getting money or getting paid for his drugs and um and I got treated as such by multiple people you know as an object and not as a person and um you know I was a terrible criminal I I don’t like hurting people I don’t like stealing from people and that thing with my dad kind of traumatized me as like stealing wise and um you know like I said before it was the I wasn’t hurting people I was getting my my money honestly or so I you know made myself think and the only person I was hurting was myself but I just didn’t realize like how badly I was hurting myself and How Deeply yeah and I want to thank you for for sharing me Jeremy’s saying you know Crystal’s sending hearts and uh Jeremy’s saying we love you no judgment here in this house I’m grateful you made it through all this and the the interesting thing you know I’ve talked to hundreds of addicts hundreds if not thousands of addicts by this point and uh it’s really really common and people don’t talk about it enough because it’s something that you know overcoming trauma overcoming you know our past and what we had to do to get drugs uh is something that is important you know and there’s there’s men straight men who have sold their bodies for drugs you know so that just goes to show like how how powerful of a hold addiction has on us in that in that time yeah they’ve done studies on the brain and the same parts of the brain that crave Water and Air like that say that we need it they trigger in the same way for drugs and we’re addicted to them so our brain is actually telling us that we need this dope as bad as we need to breathe or drink water I believe that

and uh Daniela says love hearing your story thank you thank you and good to see you and guys we’re going to take a quick 30 second break and then we’re going to talk about uh where she went and exactly how God showed up in another person we will see you in just 30 seconds we love you be right back what’s up recovered on purpose family I hope you’re enjoying this episode as much as I do when I’m making them guys if you’re getting any value from this if you’re seeing any golden nuggets that you want to share with your community make sure that you are you’re sharing it with your groups you’re sharing it with your personal page or your pages or to that one person that you’re thinking of right now in their Messengers so that they get this message and guys the brand new recovered on purpose website is up and it has a whole bunch of different merchandise and resources and the free calls with me so make sure you’re checking out recoveredonpurpose.com after the show and if you are a loved one of an addict if you have a kid that’s suffering an addiction I’m now doing free calls so we can strategize and find out how we can get them clean and keep them clean love you guys so much and enjoy the rest of the show amen amen amen yes and that’s how uh or wait we didn’t we didn’t connect through the free calls we actually connected at a at a conference I was speaking at right yeah and then you got you got stoked you came in you show up every every week every every call you did every every module everything so super proud of you okay so um that’s going on in your life you’re living in Pueblo at the time um you kind of just made the decision this is this is the best way to get dope now um and where does where does that go what do you what do you decide to do there um so uh being in Pueblo I it was getting really hairy and like I needed to get out I honestly felt like if I didn’t leave that town that I was going to die um and uh the boyfriend I had at the time was um in a halfway house up here in Denver and so I had decided to move up here and when I moved up here I didn’t have anywhere to go um or I have family up here but I didn’t want to call them because of just the situation that I was in I didn’t want to take my disease into another healthy situation you know what I mean in alienate that part of my family too I wasn’t really talking to my parents or siblings at this time um so I came up to Denver and proceeded to do exactly what I was doing down in Pueblo and just up here there was just it was more dangerous there were more people and there were more drugs and so in my attempt to get away from it just actually immersed myself into a more dangerous situation

what does that mean like where are you living and what does that mean I was living on the streets um with people in tents and then when I could get um uh trick get a hotel room and other than that that’s Amazon’s on the street from Denver you’re from Denver yeah I was everywhere mostly downtown yeah yeah like Civic Center Park yeah 16th Street Mall sleeping in like here with us oh this is I came moved up here in 2017. ah we just missed each other

yeah we could have ran and gunned together but oh man I don’t know if that would have been a good idea right I was in I was in Montana at that point um I think that early like really early 2017 I I was going to Civic Center Park to pick up but only for like a month and then uh was up in Montana and homeless so so it’s more it’s more dangerous why do you why do you say it’s more dangerous you know there what was going on what situations were happening that make you say it was more dangerous on Pueblo I had regulars people that I knew that I would hook up with regularly up here I was using the internet and then getting picked up just walking around and you know it was more dangerous because nobody knew where I was at I mean a lot of people didn’t even know I was up here down there people would know if they didn’t see me that something had happened up here I was just pretty much on my own um very vulnerable yeah whatever it was a little bit yeah did you believe in God at the time what was going on with your relationship with God as you were walking out there I did um I never stopped believing in God um I think most of the time like I was ashamed of what I was doing and in my mind had made it out that he was ashamed of me and didn’t really want to help me but he turned up and there’s so many instances that I should not have blocked away from where people you know that to this day I still don’t know who they were um just show up in my life and help me out of a situation and then would be gone and always the most unlikely people you know what I mean and uh people just you know he was now I can see that he was with me through all of it and protecting me and despite my attempts to you know unalive myself multiple times like it just you know he was there and just kept me you know safe as he could despite my choices yeah yeah I had I had that same experience in my addiction uh with my relationship with God because I never I never stopped believing in him but I had that same that same thought like how could he love me you know I love him but how could he love me look at these things I’m doing I’m doing basically everything that he says not to do I’m doing it right now you know every every minute and uh it was it was a really interesting Turning Point somewhere in my first 30 days when I had this realization that God created me first to be loved he created me first he loved me and then to love him so before I was even able to love him or believe in him or anything like that he loved me unconditionally holy completely and with all my flaws so I think that’s beautiful absolutely beautiful and Shannon says I ran from him old ideas about who he was I get it I get it I’m usually at work right now but I’m enjoying the show awesome good to see you glad that you uh had the day off a little bit so tell us one of those instances where he showed up through someone else what happened um I didn’t make it very long to appear um in Denver before I caught my first felony um I was trying to get money other than doing what I was doing because it was so dangerous and I was cashing checks um or you know a friend right and um was at that Western Union up on Colfax and remember they took my ID and they took the check and I was standing there and I was super sick and I was just like waiting and waiting and I remember thinking like this is taking way too long like it shouldn’t take as long and I turned around to go leave the building and there’s this huge cop standing there and he was like are you Misfit Simmons and I was just like oh hit you know what I mean and I never like argued I’m just like yeah you know and I caught my first felony and uh was put on felony probation

honestly that was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me like yeah I get it that’s why I said it up here in Denver they have what’s called sdop it’s the severe drug offenders program and um I tried to do regular probation and my probation officer is like dude you cannot take you can’t give me a cleaning way is going on so uh she introduced me to the gentleman that was running this program up here and I had four probation officers um and I would meet with them regularly and we just kind of discuss like what was at the root of my criminal behavior and um they treated the addict and not the criminal and they looked through my criminal history and were like you are a terrible criminal like this is terrible like you know what I mean like this is horrible and I wasn’t stealing cars and stuff I’d get you know picked up for stealing stuff from Walmart or like just doing little things to get money so I could get drugs right so you did the the old steal something from Walmart and return it with someone else right exactly I used to take things and walk them straight to guest services and return them like not even take them out of the store you know what I mean and they’re like you were like you’re terrible and so they told me you know as long as you keep coming to our probation meetings as long as you keep taking your uas and I had two a week okay um they didn’t care if they were clean or dirty and they wanted to help me get into rehab and uh so I had like 27 hot uas for men like 28 hot uas for heroin but I but I took them I showed up you know I mean I didn’t try to run from them and so they they held up there and did the deal and they worked with me to get into rehab um can I ask who your probation officer was do you remember her name um I had four

she was my probation officer when I got transferred to uh Denver oh nice sweet was super supportive like I got transferred to South Jeffco for for the first part and she was not nice she was not sweet she was she was looking at me as a criminal even though my my criminal history was personal use drugs that I got caught with you know yeah and then uh but she kind of warmed up after a few months of me like you know always being honest always telling her the truth always doing this and this and anybody out there that is on probation watching this like the better that you show up with honesty and a real a real desire to get through your probation it’s not even necessarily like a real desire to you know do everything right in your entire life right what a probation officer is looking for is for you to show up do what they say be honest with them and just talk to them and they’ll help you with things it’s really really interesting the difference between someone that can’t get through probation and someone that gets I got early terminated like two and a half years early something like that and uh just just want to encourage you guys did you did you have that same experience with probation officers yep as soon as I just you know I just kept showing up and I did what they asked me to do and I also got early termination yeah amen yeah but during that during that time something else happened right yes absolutely looking to get him to rehab yeah before I got into rehab I was um doing what I do and had gotten thrown out of this uh guys truck for not doing what he wanted me to do and um he I had my purse and like a bag and he had kept everything else on my dope my phone and it was the day after Thanksgiving in 2019 and I was at Walmart and it was snowing like that really wet snow you know those big huge flakes that just stick and saturate everything Anna I was um I was done like I was I was I was done I had I was in the depth of Despair I mean I I would I legit wanted to die like I didn’t want to call my family I hadn’t talked to them in months you know I mean I didn’t have a phone even if I wanted to I couldn’t go into Walmart because just the way that I looked and the way that I was and I couldn’t get dry and I was standing on the corner um just sobbing and crying and just begging God just literally looking up at this guy and just begging him you know just take me like I’m done like I just I need some help I I need help or just take me now because I can’t I have nothing left I have nothing left to give and I remember just I mean praying that and looking at the sky and saying God I just need some help I mean and it was not two minutes later this silver Acura pulls up next to me this gentleman rolls down the passenger side window and leans across the passenger seat and he said excuse me sweetheart do you need some help and I just was kind of taken back you know when I I was like you know what is this guy want you know what I mean like this is crazy but I like literally just prayed and asked God to help me and then I was like is this like a trick or I kind of just looked at him and took a deep breath and I said yeah I do I do need help um this was like four or five days before I was supposed to turn myself into rehab and knew that while looking for drugs while running the streets like I wasn’t gonna make it and if I didn’t get to rehab I was going to a doc for six years and was terrified I mean absolutely terrified I uh so I got in the car with this guy and I kind of looked at him and I thought I do believe in God and he just kind of got a big smile on his face and he said yeah and I said all right let’s go you know what I mean okay good enough and so he took me to his house and um dried me off and fed me and he’s like you know I don’t usually do this this isn’t something that I do I don’t pick people up and he’s like but I drove around this parking lot like three times and something just told me I had to help you and so I went to his house kind of just told him my story and what was going on and um he’s like we’ll figure out something you know what I mean I was like okay so then the next day um came and he’s like um so what would you say if you just stayed with me and you know I’ll help you get what you need so you don’t go out and run the streets try to get money he’s like oh I’ll help you stay well I’ll feed you um and I will take you to rehab and I just you know he I found out later that he was also a recovering heroin addict and he very much understood where I was coming from and um this whole time you know I kept thinking like what does he want from me what is what does this guy want he wants something you know what I mean and I kept asking him well what can I do for you what can I do for you you know I mean just kind of like suggesting and he said honey I don’t want your body I just want to help you get clean I said well how can I ever repay you like for doing this for saving my life like how could I possibly ever repay you and he he said just stay clean and so I have shook me to rehab on December 3rd and um he dropped me off he paid my storage unit because I was really worried about losing like six things I had in storage right and so he paid my storage unit so I wouldn’t stress about that he removed all the barriers anything that was going to keep me from all the excuses that I had he eliminated all of them and I was like well what about cigarettes what about money he’s like I’ll give you money I’ll give you cigarettes I’ll even bring him to you just call me and I didn’t know this guy I did not know this guy you know what I mean and he came through every time I called man and um I know I got out on Christmas Eve um 2019 and um called him and was like you know I did it you know what I mean I stayed and he’s like you know good job good job and he’s like no just just keep on keeping on you know what I mean and I just I’ll never forget that man as long as I live amen I love that so much and that’s like it’s beautiful because someone that had recovered from this right took took you and saw you know themselves and you saw you know God and you heard that voice like uh like Shannon was saying he was listening to that small voice and guys everyone that’s on this right now every single person that’s on this live right now or that watches this replay you have that power to help someone out there that’s suffering and I’m for me like and I don’t tell everybody they should do this or anything like that I don’t I’m not like a proponent of it or whatever but in my recovery I’ve actually given cash to addicts out there um you know when everybody says oh well you know what they’re gonna go buy it with it and I’m like yeah but I don’t care I don’t care because I know like I remember this one time I was on I think it was 13th and Broadway and I was coming coming like past Broadway and there was this girl on the corner and she had like a blanket over and she had a sign you know and I just handed her 20 bucks you know and I just told her my story really quick because that’s what I would do I’d be like hey I was I was out on the streets you know at the time I think it was two and a half years ago and uh I was addicted to heroin and meth and I’ve got two and a half years now um and gave her the 20 bill and she literally threw the blanket off and looked up in the sky I was like thank you God and then just like didn’t say anything to me and then just walked off yeah you know and in that moment you know the best the best love that she could have been given in that moment was not having to go do something you know being able to just to just get well you know and there’s been times and I and I do suggest this you know I absolutely suggest this for anyone out there when you see someone and you have the opportunity if if you see someone on a corner and that’s holding a sign and begging you can tell they’re an addict you can tell they’re that they’re struggling you know a lot of people a high percentage of people will pull up to that corner and roll their window up you know that’s that’s a very normal thing what’s abnormal is someone that just says hey you know how’s your day going uh is there anything I can pray for you you know saying a quick prayer for somebody you know you don’t even have to give them money or anything but they’ve actually done studies and found that the best thing that you can do to encourage someone on the streets is to touch them like in you know we can all gauge the situation but putting your hand on someone’s shoulder giving someone a hug humanizing us while we’re out there completely I stunk when I was out on the streets I didn’t know that at the time but literally in my recovery I had someone this girl message me that that knew me when I was trying to get clean for months and she would see me in the in the rooms and stuff and she was like yeah I used to talk about you because you would come in and like I would have to move an extra row behind you because you just smoked I was like oh wow you know but it just goes to show and the reason why I said congratulations for the felony probation is it’s almost like it’s like this it’s proof of where we come from you know it’s proof of where we come from it shows other addicts that it’s possible we have this rap sheet which is basically like our our resume right for real you’ve been through it for real you know it fills the Gap in my resume perfectly

so tell us where uh tell us where this goes so you you get out of rehab and where does your life start to start to take a turn because right now you’re what is it 453 men that you’re overseeing in the shelter right yeah yeah how does that happen so I’ve always had a heart for helping people like I worked like in an emergency room before all this happened and I just I I love people I love helping people and um I really wanted to work with other addicts or other people that were homeless because I truly believed that God got me through that situation he wouldn’t have got me through that situation without it being for a purpose you know what I mean like my recovery had a purpose and it was to help other people that are in the situation to know that they’re loved and to help them get out of it because it is possible and I’m living proof um however I feel like as early as I was in my recovery that I wasn’t quite ready to immerse myself in just the overwhelmingness that is addiction and homelessness and um I was trying I’d applied at the place that I work to work um as in what’s called emergency services coordinator and that is just kind of helping the men through their daily life and um day I didn’t hear back from the place and I wasn’t discouraged I knew that that was what I was supposed to do this is what I’m supposed to do and when it’s time God will provide um I got a random phone call to go work at an animal shelter and I felt like this was God’s way of like introducing me he’s like you’re not quite ready for homeless people he’s like let’s start with like homeless cats okay and we’ll kind of work our way up emotional wise because it’s an emotional job yeah you get involved in these people’s lives and I’m not the kind of person that can leave work at work and home at home I I love completely and um it was just like a stepping stone you know what I mean and I’m grateful for it because I I cried a lot working at the animal shelter you know what I mean I just felt such I think I was still learning how to feel if that makes sense out of getting out of addiction kind of um learning my emotions again and just kind of how to cope with them and I feel like I’m not gonna lie I think I love animals more than people so it was um when I could learn how to handle that like much emotion I mean I want I was some days went home just devastated like how can anybody treat an animal this way and you know once I learned how to cope with that and and um just kind of differentiate between like what I am able to do for something and what I am not able to do and um I got an email in February from this place being like hey do you still want this job and uh I was just totally taken back you know I was like it’s I I applied for this job in July and heard back in February and I was just grateful and I was like thank you God you know so I guess I’m ready you know what I mean I guess I’m ready and um I’ve been working there since February uh I did start out as an emergency services coordinator which is just working with the gentleman every day but just recently um got promoted to a case manager and so now I actually helped them um thanks uh get out of addiction and into stable housing interesting transitional housing programs amen that’s so awesome fine so awesome yeah amen do you uh have you had the experience of you know a because you this happened what a month and a half ago the case manager yeah about a month and a half ago and have you gotten to experience the whole process yet of getting someone no I am this close I’m working with three men on their last steps to getting housed and I am so excited amen yeah this one guy moves out Wednesday that I’ve known since I started there and I didn’t house him but just to be there and just watch the processes amen you know he’s afraid to get too excited and I don’t blame him you know what I mean but I just I can’t wait I’m excited I’m excited for you too and for them it’s gonna be an awesome story now we were um the the show is called learning to love yourself through or learning to forgive yourself through God’s unconditional love so tell me how that has showed up because obviously the way that your energy is now the way that you smile the way that you you know are working with others the way that you talk everything is probably totally different than when you were using drugs when you were out absolutely so where does that come from and how does how have you forgiven yourself with God’s unconditional love I I started going back to church and I mean a lot of it happened honestly while I was in rehab because I had a lot of time I didn’t go to detox I went from you know using to rehab and detox by myself but I wasn’t allowed to be sick and in doing that spent a lot of time uh in prayer you know I mean I didn’t realize I don’t think that it was prayer then but just you know just conversations with God and just trying to move forward and I’m like you know if I don’t forgive myself you know what I mean if I don’t forgive myself like I’m never gonna heal and after I talked to my kids you know about the situation I talked to my ex-husband I talk to my parents my sisters and they had all already forgiven me you know what I mean and um realizing that God had forgiven me long ago and the only person stopping me from having any kind of a life was myself yeah and after I realized that forgiveness and that unconditional love I was kind of able to put the pieces back together I mean it wasn’t fast it wasn’t like an aha moment but it it was reading my Bible every day and being in constant conversation with god and just you know when something comes up somebody messaged me you know what I mean that I’m like they’re like hey you still around and I’m just being like you know no you know actually that person’s not here anymore and um New Creation New Creation exactly and just you know understanding that and then learning how to separate myself from the things that were toxic even though like I may have wanted them to be in my life I was in a relationship and the process of happening to like decide that my sobriety and my life was more important than this relationship that I thought that I wanted um I think that’s when I knew that I’d actually decided that I was worth more I mean amen and do you find that you know your job and serving others has helped you in that process as well absolutely it helps me remember not forget where I came from you know what I mean I think in recovering and we start doing good and we’re like oh look at what I did oh look at what I did and people don’t understand you are one wrong decision whether it be your decision or somebody else’s decision away from that exact situation you know what I mean and it is a constant reminder of just you know I tell the man like this is how good God is dude like I was in your situation three years ago no joke in your exact situation and I don’t know exactly how you feel but I am living proof that it’s possible to get out so it’s not quick and it’s not easy but it is possible amen amen do you have any uh any last words or any one final message for everybody that’s listening or watches us on the replay because then I have a little surprise for you after that okay um just you know go to God you know what I mean I thought like like I said earlier I thought that everything I’d done was too much and it wasn’t it turns out you know he was just right there he’s just whenever you’re ready like all you have to do literally is ask I mean that’s literally all you have to do all the boundaries are just between you and you your pride you know what I mean yeah I love it I love it everybody is saying yes God and they have absolutely loved your loved your story of overcoming of you know the the way that God showed up through another person for you it’s just so real it’s just so real and people are really touched by it so excellent uh now I’m going to share something with you and with everybody so now that you’ve done the recovered on purpose show you have completed the whole course you have come on the show you have shared your story publicly you have helped this audience and everybody is loving it so I want to present you with your certificate thank you for now the you are now a certified recovered on purpose recovery speaker I’m super proud of you and I will be sending this to you after the show awesome guys drop some uh drop some love for Heather let her know that you guys uh support her and you know you support each other I’ve seen a lot of people in this in this show today you know talking about you know if you need a friend hit me up if you need anything hit me up um you know talking about you know just saying that everything that she’s saying is the truth because we’ve all been here we’ve all been there and uh it’s important that all of us are sharing our stories because this is the best way to reach people out there that are still suffering we have these incredible new things that they didn’t have back when the first big book was ever written look at this we I know that we have like three or four or five countries regularly coming on this show and supporting each other and talking to each other about recovery so get out there share your stories congratulations Heather everybody is dropping from uh congrats congrats congrats way to go congratulations some uh some celebration hats yay Angel hats and celebrations everybody’s sending you love awesome we love you all so much uh have an amazing weekend and tomorrow tomorrow night at uh 8 PM Central I have another super special guest that I’m really excited to uh to introduce to everybody and Crystal is coming on tomorrow it is also her birthday and she is launching her book tomorrow her book is launching tomorrow so she will be on the show tomorrow night at 8pm Central hope to see you all there Heather stick around after this thank you so much Adam thank you heather thank you everybody have a great weekend keep living

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