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A single mother from Florida who is currently living in South Carolina not only won herself a well-deserved round of applause from the Internet for her recent post but also likely inspired millions of people from her position in recovery.
Christina Knaack, mother of two little girls and in recovery from addiction, posted on her Facebook account the following status update: “I got back $5,600 on my taxes. Instead of buying my kids the latest Jordans or fancy electronics I paid my rent for the YEAR. I’m a single mom and I do it all by myself on a minimum wage job. I know that a roof over my kids’ head is what’s important. My kids don’t want for anything because my priorities are straight. And this also means I will have that extra $450 a month to do things with my kids.”
Shared and shared again, the post quickly went viral and well-wishers from across the country posted congratulatory and encouraging comments. Many offered to send her daughters things they might need in order to assist her in caring for them. In response, she posted that she would be securing a PO box in order to accept those offers and further help make sure that her kids were grounded and would never want for anything.
Christina’s story doesn’t stop there. She continues to inspire by regularly posting updates on her progress in furthering her education and other successes in her life, encouraging others with her positive attitude and never-give-up approach to life and recovery.
Christina told Fox News that she posted the original status update in an effort to let her friends and family members know that she was doing well after almost 10 years in active addiction.
Said Christina: “I was in addiction from the age of 16 to 26 and I never thought I would make it out. I was homeless. I know a lot of girls in Florida, where I’m from, who are recovering addicts.”
With three years of clean time under her belt, Christina knows that there is always work to be done to continue moving forward. When it comes to paying her rent a year in advance, she knows that she has bought herself not only the knowledge that she and her children will have a place to stay for the next year but the peace of mind that comes with knowing that she will be able to financially handle the things that come her way.
Said Christina: “It’s better throughout the year. Like, I don’t have to worry about my kids saying, ‘Mommy, I need this,’ and I can’t get it because I’m still trying to debate if I can pay my light bill or if I can pay my rent. You see too many posts now, like, ‘Oh, I got my kid the latest Jordans’ or ‘Look, my 7-year-old has an iPhone 7.’ People lose sight of what’s important … It feels great.”
In addition to letting her loved ones know that she and her daughters are doing well so they need not worry, by sharing her story, Christina has given hope to millions of people across the country in similar circumstances. Long-term addiction that starts in the teen years is difficult to overcome but not impossible. It is also not easy to take care of yourself in recovery, especially with no experience doing so safely and healthfully, but Christina’s story demonstrates that it is possible to do so while caring for two children as well.
Though not always easy, it is straightforward, as Christina shows: You go to work, manage your bills, set goals, and keep moving forward. When you experience a windfall (like a tax return or a raise), you can apply it to better your circumstances instead of allowing it to skew your focus.
What are you doing in your recovery to stay on track? What little choices are you making every day that keep you focused on staying clean and sober? Who will benefit when you share your story and tell others what you make possible every single day?
Share your story today. Let other people know what you are doing and how they too can begin their own personal journey to recovery.