The Well Magazine Summer 2012 - Page 27

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 DRUG FREE ployed and abusive. His way of getting his point across when we disagreed was with his fist. I went to the police station and when the time came I went to court. He got the proverbial slap on the wrist and was sent on his way. And I was now twenty-something with three children, no hus- Berneita Barnes is a certified substance band, no job, no pros- abuse counselor. She has been drug and pects of a job, living on alcohol free for more than 20 years. public aid and too dumb to know that I wasn’t supposed to be happy. Silly me, I thought I was. So what happens at this point in my life? I met another man who said he would protect me from the last man who hit me. He ended up abusing me and introducing me to cocaine. We shared in the thrills of using together. But using together also came with a price and the thrill was soon gone. Because I loved him, there was nothing that I wouldn’t do for him even if it meant neglecting my children and selling my body so he could use the money to drink and get high. Getting a real job was out of the question. He knocked in my front teeth and I still have a knot on the right side of my face that no one knows is there except me, him and God. uring my whole life I have always had a mother who loved all of her children and who prayed mightily for them. I know my mother prayed many a day and night for me during my career as a practicing user of drugs. She prayed for me as well as the safety of my children who I was quite proficient at neglecting. I only hope and pray that as my life changed in the beginning of 1990, that I made up for some of the hurt and the disappointment that I brought into her life. I only hope that before she died, that she knew how much I appreciated my childhood and that I was sorry I had to get ‘grown’ in order to realize that life wasn’t so bad as a kid and it could have even been worse. Today, I am a 56 year old woman who has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in addiction studies. I haven’t used any drugs or alcohol in more than 20 years. I still don’t always understand all the things I went through but I do 27 At the Well and The Well Magazine are dedicated to encouraging, enlightening, edifying and inspiring others through the power of God’s Word and sharing our stories. Mission Statement Encourage Enlighten Edify Inspire Vision Statement Through the testimonies, stories and information provided on At the Well ( and The Well Magazine ( That God would be glorified That Jesus would be recognized as the Savior of the world That people would be edified, enlightened and encouraged through the testimonies of others who have overcome. That community would be inspired to live out its faith, using the experience, knowledge and wisdom provided to live abundantly personally and make a difference in their community and world. D understand that as long as I maintain my relationship with God, that no matter what I have to face, no matter what I have to deal with, there is no problem too big or too small for God to handle. Do you have an inspiring story? Share your testimony. Write Summer 2012 / The Well Magazine