My name is Gwenyth Bute. I’m 26 years old and I was addicted to opiates for 7 years. I’m from a small town called Bucyrus, Ohio. My mom and dad divorced when I was a baby and my little brother was just an enfant. My dad, remarried a hateful woman who had 2 children from a previous marriage. When I was 9, they had my half-brother.
My mom is a registered nurse and she was always working trying to make ends meet. She made sure my brother and I had everything we needed and most of the time everything we wanted.
We would go to our dad’s house every other weekend, but we didn’t get to spend a lot of quality time with him. He was always with my step-mom or her kids. I never got the father’s love a girl is supposed to get from her dad. He was always there when I wanted money or to use the car, but not emotionally. My stepmom was very emotionally and physically abusive to me, which made me resent her and my dad.
During middle school, I was involved in cross country, track, and of course being social with my friends. In high school, I excelled academically until my last year. The summer before my senior year, I met my ex-boyfriend. He was three years older than me and lived in his own house with my cousin. We would hang out everyday and drink on the weekends.
As time went on, I found out he was doing drugs. I thought I could help him. I thought if he really loved and cared about me he would quit. But sure enough I found myself addicted to drugs.
Here I was a senior in high school doing drugs. All I did was go to school, work at the local Bob Evans and spend the rest of my time partying with my boyfriend. He was physically abusive, but I stayed with him anyway.
When I graduated high school in 2010, we got an apartment together. We both were functioning addicts with full-time jobs. Over the next few years we became full blown addicts. We moved back in with our parents because we chose to spend all our money on drugs rather than pay the bills. I was in between jobs, stealing anything and everything I thought had value.
In July of 2015, I found out he had cheated on me with a much younger girl and of course, she was pregnant. This tore me apart. I quit my job, went into depression, and the stealing got much worse. I had stolen my mom’s bank card, changed all her information and bought drugs. On that same night I attempted suicide because I knew when I went home she would know that I stole her card and money. I spent two weeks in the mental hospital and was still in contact with my boyfriend. When I was released from the hospital I went and stayed at my dad’s to get away from town (my dad lived in the country about 15 minutes away). The deal was that I was to have no contact with my boyfriend whatsoever. But of course, I didn’t listen.
That September I went to my mom’s office and stole her huge jar of money – bills and change – which she called her retirement fund and stole $100 from my brother to buy drugs. I didn’t care about the consequences as long as I was getting my temporary high. My mom didn’t file charges on me, but my brother did. I was now on probation, and had to stay out of trouble.
In November, I was working and still living under my dad’s roof still trying to find money because my whole paycheck would go to drugs.
Friday December 3, 2015 – I will never ever forget that day. It was the day I hit my rock bottom. I had stolen my dad’s laptop and my brother’s flat screen TV when they were at my little brother’s basketball game. I knew I was going to jail that night. I didn’t care. Just as long as I got that high, I didn’t care. After I had taken the items and pawned them, I went to go pick up the pills and went immediately to see my boyfriend at his job to tell him what I had done, and of course he wanted some of the pills. So I thought I was hiding out in the parking lot across from his job there waiting for him to get off. I was sitting in my dad’s truck doing my last hit. I didn’t care. I threw my paraphernalia out the truck window and I looked up and there they were the cops and the sheriff. I knew right then and there I was done, I had hit flat rock bottom. My dad had reported his truck stolen. That’s that last time I’ve ever touched a drug. I was so mad. I was mad at my whole family. I was mad a God, but most of all I was mad at myself for allowing myself to even get to that point.
I sat in jail for 36 days, praying to God for help. I knew I needed help. It took me going to jail to get it. Then one day my mom reached out to my grandfather’s friend who was a pastor. He said there’s a place called Restoration Ministries in Harvey, IL and it’s faith based. I was apprehensive because I believed in God but didn’t know him. But I knew I needed a drastic life change, so I said yes. I was mandated by the courts to rehab. I got released from jail on January 8, 2016 to come to Restoration Ministries and Tabitha House and my life hasn’t been the same since.
God rescued me from Ohio. Being apart of Restoration Ministries has truly saved my life. Living at the Tabitha House has been a wonderful learning experience. I never thought living with a bunch of woman could be so fun and annoying at the same time. I went through a lot of trials and tribulations which led to multiple sit-downs with Sandra Ezell, the director and Elizabeth Roldan, the manager of the thrift stores. These 2 woman have truly been a blessing in my life. While living at the Tabitha house I was involved in the homeless outreach programs including the Hope Ministry on Fridays and Sunday Snacks on Sunday afternoons. I also helped with the youth group on Tuesday nights. I even had the honor of sharing my testimony this summer on the TV show Faith Chicago on the Total Living Network.
My relationship with my family is restored and better than ever. My mom is my best friend. We talk every day! In fact, I’m going home to Bucyrus next weekend. My brother is the quarterback of the football team and next weekend is homecoming. My relationship with Dad has been restored too. I’ve learned to accept the things I can’t change and love everyone anyway. My relationship with my step-mom is really hit or miss, but I love her anyway.
I am currently working at Restoration Ministries South Holland Thrift Store as the Donation & Delivery coordinator. I just enrolled in Brightwood College to become a registered medical assistant.
What I have learned while being here is that I am a beautiful child of God. With his Love, grace and mercy I’m alive and on this wonderful earth today. I’ve also learned that everything happens for a reason whether it’s for us to understand or not. I want to thank God for giving me a second at life, thank John & Barb Sullivan our founders for following God’s plan, & thank all of you and the generous donors for making Restoration Ministries possible.