Ashlee is my name and growing up, I had a good life even though I was born with a birth defect known as Gastroschisis. That is a defect where the insides of my intestinal tract and bowels were on the outside of my body. I had multiple surgeries to correct the problem. As a young child, I was also diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). It seemed as if I always struggled just to fit in. As I matured, the behavioral problems only seemed to magnify my physical problems and I carried all of into adulthood. I found myself in a relationship that, after 14 years, was no good for me. I was evicted out of that relationship and home that we shared due to him cheating on me. From that point on, my life spiraled out of control. I became addicted to drugs and could not find a way of escape. I was able to hold down jobs from here and there but not for long. I was evicted from one home after another due to my inability to keep a job and pay rent.

In 2012, I was arrested as a direct result of my increasing need for drugs. I refused to leave the home I was in and went completely against the owner’s wishes when she tried to evict me more than once, so she took me to court to make me leave when I flat out refused. The problem was, I had nowhere else to go and my pride kept me from asking my parents for a bed to sleep in at their home. I moved everything I owned into a storage unit and I went from pillar to post, staying either in my car or at friend’s houses. When I realized the ridiculousness of it all, I asked my parents if I could move back in with them until I got on my feet again.

While living with them, I had to hide my drug addiction and put on masks daily to keep anyone from finding out my deep, dark secret. I soon failed a drug test for my probation officer and asked if I could go to rehab instead of going back to jail. She agreed, but I wasn’t really ready to change and ran away from that rehab and the police which had me apprehended and I landed back in jail. While incarcerated, I met a man named Jesus Christ and my life changed forever! I soon walked across the threshold of Jacob’s Well Recovery Center for Women in Mississippi which I completed after 6 months then stayed as a trusted staff member for another six months. From that point on, I have never been asked to leave any place of residence because my life was forever changed for the better! I wanted different, so I CHOSE different!