Hannah's Story (Australia)

Hannah is 24 years old, the second eldest of four daughters.  She grew up going to church, Sunday school and youth groups.  After completing high school and a diploma of nursing, Hannah enrolled in a nursing degree.  All seemed well, but inwardly she was struggling with her dependency on alcohol.

Since a young age, Hannah suffered from lack of self-confidence – an inner war of inequality, failure, and self-loathing.

“I’ve always been a very deep thinker.  I over-analyse everything, I’m extremely sensitive, and if I’m not careful, I have a short temper that can tend to get me into strife.  This is almost completely opposite from the personalities of my three sisters; don’t get me wrong – they are my best friends, but within the family I felt like I was the outcast.”

Being bullied at school and feeling like an outcast with her friends and family, at 18 years old Hannah packed her bags and headed to the Gold Coast.  In the next three years she experimented with drugs and alcohol and worked as a bartender in a strip club.  The two significant relationships that she sustained with men during this time were mentally and physically abusive.  This added to her feelings of helplessness in an environment that caused her to feel bitter and broken.  Hannah says it was then that she resorted to alcohol to help ease the pain.

“I needed something to mask the pain and get rid of the bad memories, so I chose to use alcohol.  The trigger for drinking became blurred, binges became longer and then sobriety between each binge became shorter.  Sometimes my binges would last over seven days; consisting of a minimal diet, copious amounts of alcohol, vomiting and numerous hospital admissions including IV fluids and medication to help with alcohol withdrawal.”

After losing her license due to a DUI and having a blood alcohol limit which put her in the top 10 readings for women in Queensland, Hannah hit rock bottom and found herself looking desperately for help.  After speaking with a worker at Teen Challenge, Hannah began her journey of recovery at our New Life Women’s Centre in Toowoomba.

Since being at the Centre, Hannah is learning forgiveness.

“For all the years I spent in misery I have now come to an understanding that all I needed was [God’s] forgiveness and guidance.  I feel lighter, I feel kinder, and I feel like I am in a position to start a new life.”

Hannah now has hope for her future and is ready to fulfil her full potential.

“I feel as though I am getting to know myself, not all over again, but for the first time.  I was broken and exhausted, but through Teen Challenge I have found God and amazing friends that will make sure all my pieces are put back together, and I am sure that I will become all that God intended me to be.”