This is Marisa. Even though she grew up in a loving family, by the time middle school came around she fell into deep depression. The social pressures of friendship became too great to bear at such a young age and the feeling of loneliness drove her to cutting, from there her life spiraled downward. For nine years she dealt with the physical and emotional pain that comes with cutting. Once she started high school it got worse, she started experimenting with alcohol, weed, and even cocaine. All this led to an eating disorder, refusing to eat; at her lowest weighing only 85 pounds. Aside from never eating she started using ecstasy regularly and overdosing on cough medicine every day to remain high and escape reality. Soon before her 19th birthday she became pregnant by her boyfriend at that time He, pressured her against her will into getting an abortion. Marisa began drinking excessively every day, then her boyfriend started taking pain pills with her, which quickly turned into a full blown opiate addiction. For her 20th birthday he shot her up with heroin for the first time, after that she says her addiction reached a whole new level. The next two years she spent in and out of rehabs, detoxes and halfway houses. “Not until I came to project Hope did I believe there was any hope or purpose for myself or my life. Since being here there’s been complete restoration in my family, I’m happy again and able to laugh. I’ve begun to really develop a relationship with God and I now believe that God has great things in store for me in my future.” Today Marisa has graduated our program and is full of joy, she plans to stay on at Project Hope and hopes to offer help to those struggling as she once was.