Walking in freedom
Drugs robbed Aleasha Yaxley of everything, but God changed her life.

I grew up in Tasmania in a good home, but when I was at primary school I was sexually abused by my neighbour.

As a teen, I moved with my parents to NSW. I met some people who smoked pot and together we'd drink on the weekends. I was a binge drinker and would go home with random guys I didn't know.

In my early 20s, a girl introduced me to ecstasy—I loved it, but after the first coming down from the high I wanted to kill myself.

I was in a relationship with a guy 14 years older than me and we had a daughter. He was also the person who offered me my first ice pipe when I was 25.

After maternity leave I went back to work. Work had me do a urine test because I was going to work looking a real mess—black eyes, I would pick myself and had scabs all over me. The drug test was positive and I got the sack.

My parents had enough of my behaviour so they kicked me and my daughter out.

In 2008, I ended up in Salvation Army refuge on the Gold Coast, Still Waters. I didn't know anything about the Salvos—it was just a word for me. I was still using drugs, smoking pot and taking ice.

In 2009, Welfare stepped in and I ended up losing my daughter when I lost my cool with the police and got arrested.

My daughter went into foster care for two and a half months and then into my parents, care for just over two years—I lost her for two and a half years.

This was my wake-up call—I wanted to get clean.

When I was at Still Waters, I went to church once—there was something about the service that day that I liked. In 2010, I went to Tweed Heads Salvation Army.

My daughter has a half-sister—they both have the same father—who's 10 years older. She was going to the youth program at Tweed Salvos so I went to church with her and her grandfather. I've been going ever since.

I got my daughter back in 2011 and in 2012 I went to the Salvos' single mothers' camp at Collaroy, NSW. One night I gave my life to God.

Church became my rehab and people there helped me. I started going to TAFE and did my Certificate IV in Mental Health.

Through doing these things I started to get clean. I've been clean for two years now.

I started working with the Salvos' Welfare Change. I'm now the admin­istrative assistant. I help the welfare clients and try to find other ways to help reach the community.

Last year, I became a Salvation Army soldier (member).

If it wasn't for God I wouldn't be here today. I have this trust in God. I believe he brought me out of the gutter and he's brought me to his side. He knows exactly what I can do, what I'm capable of.

He has changed my life and my daughter has her mother back.

Past stories
Mitch Manevski
Jake Clanfield
Rosemary Campbell
Lee Johnson
Natasha Steele
Rob Melville
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