By Chris Eyte
Sarah Clarke sat on the floor of her room with the curtains closed, begging for death to take her.
“GOD, KILL ME!" Sarah Clarke sat on the floor of her room with the curtains closed, begging for death to take her. It wasn't the first time she'd wanted to kill herself.
Her inner torment had become too much. She was hearing voices, going in and out of mental health centres to be treated for ADHD and deep depression, and drank too much. Sexually abused as a young girl, she was making her living as a prostitute.
Sarah, aged 29 and living in Hull in the United Kingdom, had been sexually abused 10 times by different men by the time she was 21. At the time, she thought she deserved such treatment because she was worthless.
"I faced sexual abuse from the time I was very young and became very angry," she said. "I wasn't even able to tell my mum of the pain I carried. I cried on the inside and started to self-harm - I was lonely, felt isolated and lashed out.
"When I was 12 I was diagnosed with ADHD and that led to a downward spiral of dysfunctional living and a chaotic life."
Sarah's paranoia grew. Responding to voices in her head, she tried killing herself a number of times. It got to the point that she had to self-section herself (admit herself into a psychiatric facility) because she was dangerous. It was then that doctors diagnosed her with a personality disorder.
"I had no hope," Sarah recalled. "Mental hospitals, medication, alcohol to numb the pain and bingeing on drugs caused me to live in a cycle I called hell."
She visited churches hoping to find relief. The night she cried out to God to kill her was the night she reached breaking point.
"I begged Him to kill me," she said.
And then, crying herself to sleep, she had a dream. She saw Jesus and His hand was like fire. And He lay hold of her hand and His presence filled her.
"Jesus said this: 'I love you. Keep persevering.'"
Sarah woke up after the dream and felt that something had changed in her. She felt positive for a while but then relapsed a few months later. A friend then told her about Teen Challenge, a Christian ministry helping people trapped in addiction and life-controlling problems.
A support worker for Teen Challenge supported Sarah. She attended a Teen Challenge centre for women at Gorslas in Wales where she found, at last, true freedom and healing.
"I met with Jesus in this place and was healed and completely set free from substance abuse and mental health problems. Three years later, I'm clean! I also have contact with my daughter and I am in Bible college doing ministry with Revive Church (Hull) working alongside some mighty men and women of God who inspire Me."
The voices have disappeared from Sarah's mind - replaced by the loving voice of Jesus Christ. She can turn off the light without fear at night and sleep peacefully.
"I have an inner strength now. I can be who I'm truly created to be. I don't need medication anymore - I'm in my right mind!
"I'm free to go and do normal day-today things like shopping, and eating out and I'm able to pay bills and handle money without alcohol in my system.
"I love the fact that I can get on buses now and not be so paranoid and shaky! I don't treat myself unkindly because I'm a child of God with a new identity who is loved by her heavenly father."
Sarah has been supported by her home church, in Nottingham, England.
She encourages anyone with a similar story to her's, to become desperate for change.
"Make a choice and stick to it," she said, "position your heart and believe. If you don't do it for yourself - you will relapse and pick the bottle or drugs back up. Remember that you can do this but it's a choice! Reach out to people and ask for help. Tomorrow is not a promise - you have one life. What are you going to do with it?"•