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Charisse Parker

Recovery Advocate

My story is one that is still ongoing. It is still being written every day.  As I look back over the past 45 years, I think about where I've been, where I am now, and where I'm going. I also think about who I was, who I am now, and who I am growing to be. I began feeling sad and depressed at a very young age. I was so young that I did not have words to express what I was feeling.


I was surrounded by so much love- saturated in love, yet the pain I felt inside was to that love as oil is to water.  As young as 5 years old, I remember self-harming, unaware of course of what it was or truly what I was doing or why. As the years went by,  I sought out anything, everything, anyone, and everyone who would and/or could possibly take the pain away. This led to drug addiction, promiscuity, and my “self-indulgent flesh fest” that continued for way too long. I thought that being married and having children would take the pain away, only to find myself surrounded by children and still being in intense internal pain after three failed marriages. 


I continued to seek substances that would eradicate the pain, only to realize that they had instead created a different type of pain. Years went by,  treatments were tried and treatments failed until finally, in 2018, I began to seek the only TRUE solution for my life, which was recommitting my heart to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am more stable mentally, physically, and emotionally than I have ever been. I am no longer suffering in silence. I choose to boldly share and shed light on addiction, mental health challenges, and a host of other strongholds that were meant to take my life (Genesis 50:20). 


As a vocal advocate for real-life recovery and resilience, I share my personal lived experiences in hopes of eliminating stigma and putting a face and voice to what overcoming various life struggles actually looks like. Hope is a very powerful entity! 


Recovery is possible. I am proof. I am transparent about my past, which empowers me to be intentional about my future.  I seek to break down the limits we place on ourselves and others that keep us stuck and instead model the power of sharing, encouraging, and empathetically holding space for others who continue to struggle. I purpose to be a woman full of humor, intelligence, love, and immense value who is living with mental health challenges defined by the endless possibilities and no longer defined by circumstances, stigma, or shame.

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