Instantaneous Freedom from Drugs
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Shay recalls, “It's dehumanizing. It's out of this world almost where I didn't feel like I was even a person. And the only thing that makes you able to even live with yourself a little bit is the same exact thing that's killing you.”
For 10 years, getting her next fix ruled Shay Walters’ life driven by the pain of abandonment and betrayal, and no hope for a future.
Shay says, “I knew everything in me that I would die a drug addict.”
Growing up, Shay was popular, a good student and athlete who had loving parents and thought the world of her dad.
Shay recalls, “My father made me feel confident and able and intelligent and independent and strong.”
In the coming years, he also showed Shay a way of life that almost destroyed her. It started when Shay was in the 7th grade and a team of sheriff’s deputies raided her family’s home looking for drugs. They found nothing and her parents convinced Shay it must have been a mistake. At school however, the accusations and ridicule began to spread. Defending her dad’s reputation, Shay began attacking anyone who crossed her. At 13, she got her first criminal assault charge.
Shay says, “I wanted to be tough and I wanted people to think that they couldn't hurt me. So I started to physically fight people if they said something to me, I would get violent.”
Inside though, she was hurting. Then during her freshman year in high school, her dad was arrested for possession and selling drugs. Now she knew the accusations were true! Although it was only an 11-month sentence, Shay’s world was shattered.
“It was almost like a death,” Shay adds, “It was like grieving your father, even though he was only away temporarily. But for a young girl, that’s shocking, you know, and we were definitely used to having this family dynamic and in the blink of an eye it had changed.”
At one point, she even attempted suicide.
Shay shares, “I was trying to escape the sadness that my family had crumbled, and I didn't necessarily belong anywhere anymore.”
Trying to find her place, she started drinking, smoking weed and popping pills. Then at 17, she got pregnant and had a son, Tyce.
She would soon leave her boyfriend, Tyce’s father, because he’d become abusive. However, a bigger problem quickly surfaced when Shay discovered the pain meds she was given after her c-section, also soothed her emotional pain.
Within two years, she had gone from an addiction to opioids to heroin.
Shay recalls, “I didn't have to think about what I was doing. I didn't have to feel guilty. And it completely numbed me.”
By her early 20’s she was selling drugs, and in and out of jail on multiple dui and assault charges.
Shay says, “It became a normal way of life for me to be thrown in and out of jail. And I didn't think that people got sober.”
By the time Shay was 25, she had survived numerous overdoses, and multiple suicide attempts. She had also lost custody of her son to her mother and older sister.
Shay remembers, “I felt like I didn't have any reason to even be here on this earth. It didn't empower me or wake me up as in ‘I need to get sober; I need to get better; I need to get better for my son.’ I just had no hope.”
In October 2015, Shay was arrested on nine felony drug charges and facing 22 years.
Shay says, “And I remember thinking that my life is over, that this is not one that I could come back from, and this is how I'm going to spend the next 20 years of my life.”
In jail awaiting sentencing, Shay began attending AA meetings. She also met a girl she had used drugs with before who was now sober and had met someone special. His name was Jesus.
Shay remembers, “And she helps me say a prayer that's basically saying, ‘Thy will, not mine, be done. I give my life over to you, whatever you need from me.’ And I prayed it with her. And I gave my life to God. My freedom from drugs was instantaneous. The moment that I asked God into my heart on a jailcell floor, the want to even do them completely subsided. I've never used a drug since. I don’t want to use. I have joy and happiness without them.”
And, repenting of everything she’d done, she says she also found God’s forgiveness, and unconditional love.
Shay shares, “I don't have that hole in me craving attention and love from the world, I only get it from God. I know where my joy comes from. I know where my identity comes from. I know who I am.”
After serving only two years, Shay was released and went on to find success in life. She regained full custody of her son.
She is now married to Rich and raising a blended family. Together they run a licensed behavioral health center called Peer Solutions’ where they help people who struggle with addiction.
Shay also ministers to more than half – a – million people on her Facebook show called, ‘From prison to purpose.’ She lets everyone know God is God of second chances.
Shays says, “Everything that I went through was for His glory. There is hope and people do recover, people change their lives. God can bless you. Whatever it is that you dream about your life right now, He can times that by a million.”
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