Drug addict finds new life through Damascus Way

News 3 Neighbors

This News 3 Neighbors story focuses on a Manchester, Georgia native whose life was almost destroyed by drugs. Michelle Amerson now lives and works in Columbus. She was willing to open up her soul and share her story of addiction with me in hopes that the solution she discovered will help someone else who is struggling to get free.

To look at Michelle Amerson on the jobs at Midtown Coffee House, you’d never guess what a tormented background she has endured. Michelle was straight-A student, cheerleader, well-liked. But peer pressure in high school drover her to a life of addiction to something far more powerful than caffeine.

“My last year, my senior year is when I started dabbing in drugs. I started living a party lifestyle where I am going to the clubs, drinking a lot,” says Michelle.

Michelle says the first drug she ever tried was ecstasy.

“And then came cocaine.  So I was doing cocaine quite often. It wasn’t an every day thing for me back then. It was more of a weekend thing,” says Michelle. “I was really living a double life where I thought I could just dab in it a little bit and have fun, but  still be your normal mom…just starting a career.”

Michelle says she worked in direct sales for seven years, and was really good at it, but she couldn’t shake her habit.

“So I went from ecstasy to cocaine, and then meth and pain pills came along and that was it for me. Those two alone destroyed my life,” says Michelle. “I was doing any and everything I could to get high. I was…I had no dignity anymore. I had no self worth. I felt worthless.” 

“At this point I’ve lost my kids, I’ve lost my house,” says Michelle. “I lost everything.  Any dreams, any hope, any goals that I had for my life were gone.”

Michelle says one day she found herself alone in a rundown trailer in the woods, hadn’t eaten in days and she was losing her mind and called out to God.

“It was like, Lord, you’ve got to help me. You’ve got to help me,” says Michelle.

Two friends she hadn’t heard from in awhile and her brother came to her rescue, walking her through detox.

“They stepped in and rode those 21 days out with me and then we found Damascus Way, part of  Valley Rescue Mission. Oh man, totally changed my life, totally changed my life. When I walked through those doors I felt hope. I felt peace like I’ve never felt,” says Michelle.

And Michelle says it was at Damascus Way that she was re-introduced to the Lord.

“Without Him, part of that program, I don’t think I would honestly be able to overcome the obstacles I’ve overcome. The guilt and shame along and the depression and anxiety…all of that on top of the addiction, that’s hard to overcome,” says Michelle.

Michelle also works part time at Damascus Way as a program assistant, where she serves up advice to those walking where she has walked.

“If they’ll just put the needle down, put the dope down, put the pills down and just cry out to Him…say Lord, I can’t do this on my own. I need you. And He will be faithful to put the right people in your path,” says Michelle.

Watch the full interview below:

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