Mid-South Mother Ends Life of Drugs and Drinking Thanks To Salvation Army

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(Memphis) Emily Sfakianos shows off handmade Christmas decorations for children inside her new temporary home in Memphis, "We made all of the decorations for them (children) to put on the fireplace."

Emily's life is filled with joy now, but not long ago she was filled with pain even though many thought she had it all, "I graduated with honors, on scholarships and I have always been a great student."

Emily admits her accomplishments were never enough for her.

She turned to a life of partying, drinking, drugs, abusive relationships to fill the void, "I was constantly doing more alcohol, more drugs to fill that void or go to the next serious thing and it never worked."

She checked herself in-and-out of rehab, but her life continued to spiral, "I felt pretty much it was either a gun or treatment. I was ready to die or get help."

Finally with her father's help, she locked herself into detox and called the Salvation Army's Renewal Place for help, "I was physically in such bad shape from the alcohol and drugs and emotionally dead and spiritually dead. There is no doubt in my mind, if I wasn't dead, I would soon die."

Renewal Place gave her a new life allowing her to stay with youngest child, Kris, during recovery, and work towards positive parenting, sobriety and employment.

"They do have some tough love, but it's also about nurturing you back to wholeness, i believe."

Emily believes it changed her life, "Where would life be without this place? I imagine I would be dead. I really do."

These hugs and kisses are because she has an even better relationship with her son and her two daughters.

She says Renewal Place has put her on a new path with her family, and God, "That's the greatest gift I've gotten is that is back and God has got me in his hands and he's walking me through this journey."

Emily says she plans on going back to college and completing her degrees.