Sarah Grady Ackerman interviews Carolyn King about her former drug addiction.
Sarah: At the age of 14, Carolyn Alfreda King started using drugs: cocaine, pills, marijuana and alcohol.
Carolyn: From 16 to 36 I was an addict. And the last 10 years it was crack cocaine.
Sarah: The mother of three says there is a depth that drug addiction will take you that self esteem will not follow.
Carolyn: You think about what you’ve done. You cry. You’re depressed. You’re oppressed. You’re afflicted, so no self esteem is there. So you’ve just sank into a deep, dark, black hole.
Sarah: During this two decade downward spiral Carolyn was mostly unemployed. She lost her three children to the state and her husband divorced her. But her lowest moment? The first time she sold her body.
Carolyn: And when that was over I was so ashamed. Like I said, self esteem was nowhere in the picture. I felt like the scum off of someone’s shoe.
Sarah: But God was waiting patiently to scrape Carolyn up. Beaten down by life, the 20-year addict cried out to God.
Carolyn: I said, “I don’t know if You know me, but I’ve heard a lot about You. And if You could save someone like me, then I’ll do whatever You ask.”
Sarah: Six months later Miss King was a recovering addict working in Governor Jeb Bush’s office, clinging to her new found faith in the Lord.
Carolyn: He healed my heart. He told me that I was beautiful in spite of all the things that I had done. He said that He loved me and that He wanted to make me over, and He would make me His daughter, His queen, His princess. And that’s what He’s done.
Sarah: While working for the governor Carolyn enrolled in school, at Tallahassee Community College. In April of 2007 she graduated with the honor of being chosen as the student graduation speaker – and received a standing ovation. May of 2007 she started classes at FSU, pursuing her bachelor’s, and eventually her master’s degree. As for Carolyn’s family…
Carolyn: I remarried my first husband, and that is just wonderful. We had been apart for 16 years, so, that’s a long time. And for him to want me again, after everything that had happened while I was with him – God showed me how restoration is his forte.
Sarah: Carolyn also regained custody of her daughter. Her two sons are adults.
Carolyn: I was robbed twice, I mean, I could have been killed. I mean, I was raped before – just so many things have happened in my life that I stand here today knowing that even though I was in the midst of sin, that He predestined me to do something great in the Kingdom of God.
Sarah: And her purpose is unfolding before her as she now serves as a motivational speaker for today’s youth.