When Hope Ran Out

Sharon Crews
by SalvationArmy.ca

Alcohol and bulimia had taken over Sharon’s life. Then, following the death of her mother, she lost all hope and the desire to live. With a bottle of pills in the palm of her hand, Sharon called The Salvation Army in St. John’s, N.L. “I wasn’t looking for attention,” says Sharon. “I was ready to go.”

Sharon was raised in a Christian home and sang and played guitar in the church. But at 16, she rebelled. Drinking with friends went from moderate to excessive in a short time. At 19, she moved out to Alberta with her boyfriend. There was alcohol and abuse. When Sharon’s family in Newfoundland learned of her volatile situation, her father called The Salvation Army in Fort McMurray for help.

“Two people from The Salvation Army drove me to the bus station and travelled the over four hour journey to the Edmonton airport where I caught a plane home,” says Sharon. “What they did was unbelievable.”

Hitting Rock Bottom

Sharon eventually married and worked in the office of a trucking company. “Every night after work people went for drinks, and I was right there,” says Sharon. “Many times my husband came home from work to find me on the floor unconscious, and would call an ambulance.”

In 2015, Sharon viewed her situation as completely hopeless with no way to change things for the better.

“I was drunk every day—and was tired of it,” says Sharon. “I had such low self-esteem I didn’t think I was fit to live. I felt like a complete failure. So I got in my car, sped down the road and deliberately drove into a light pole. But the suicide attempt failed.”

Still suicidal, Sharon went home intending to take the bottle of pills. But in an unexpected moment of clarity she wondered who could help her or give her words of comfort. She called The Salvation Army.

The Choice to Live

“Help please,” she said to The Salvation Army worker on the other end of the line. “I’m at my wits end and want to end my life.”

For the next two hours, Major Hedley Bungay listened to her problems and let her talk about her feelings and thoughts. He then called her regularly for the next year.

“With support from Major Bungay I turned back to God and took control of my life,” says Sharon. “I never drank again.

“The Salvation Army cared about me, a total stranger,” says Sharon. “Conversations with them created a safe space for me to open up about my feelings and develop a positive outlook. Today, I’m proud of how far I’ve come and am proof that new beginnings are possible.”