Tracey walked into her first meeting with Jude, a Kingdom Resources Financial Mentor, and told her, “I used to be a drug dealer. I used to have thousands of dollars every day, and now I have nothing. I don’t know how to live on $600 a week.” Tracey explains that during that time in her life, “I had all this mess, all these bills. Where do you even start?”
Drug dealing had provided Tracey with large sums of money, but it had taken away from her so much more of true value. She’d lost her kids, lost her home, and had been to prison three times. Between her prison sentences, Tracey had gone to rehab, but had eventually relapsed. “You’d think you’d have learned your lesson, but this is all I knew,” Tracey explains of her drug dealing while bailed to a friend’s house where she was on lockdown for 24/7.
It’s been a hard road to sobriety for Tracey. The lure of drugs has pulled her off course a few times, but she says that relapsing gave her a better perspective on how much clearer she felt being clean. “Every day there’s a challenge. But when you’re in addiction, the challenges, you just can’t even cope with them. Now that I’m sober, I can take care of them and I’m happy every day. I’m not in a depressed, tired state.”
To try and stop herself from slipping back into old habits, Tracey reaches out to her support systems. She goes to an after-care group every week. She has a Pathways Trust worker who “keeps me on my toes.” She told her mother, “If I don’t call you every morning, then there’s something wrong.”
Jude has been a huge help to Tracey with paying down her debt. “Jude has helped me sort it all out,” she says. Tracey is pleased not to have to worry that there might be bills that she doesn’t know about. “Jude is more than a financial mentor. She’ll pray for me – and that’s welcomed. She’s like the mum I never had. She goes above and beyond what she’s meant to do.”
Tracey is proud of how far she’s come on her journey. She’s about to begin studying towards a Mental Health and Addiction degree at Ara and she has a goal to buy a house by the time she turns 40. Her daughter is now back in her care and Tracey delights in being able to spend quality time with her. “Clean living is great,” she says, “I wake up every day happy now.”
By Janine Millington