Snapshot: Christina Williams
Hometown: Glen Burnie
Major: General Studies, concentration in Psychology
Christina Williams may only be twenty-seven years old but her life up until now parallels someone who has already lived a lifetime. Of course you would never know this upon first meeting her. Her bright green eyes, contagious smile, and warm presence hardly suggest a challenging life. But the reality is she’s gradually learning to adjust to life’s hard knocks. Instead of dwelling on her misfortune, she’s taking on her new challenges by storm with the help of professors, her mentor, family and friends.
A General Studies major with a focus on psychology, Christina came to Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) after a considerably bumpy road filled with a broken marriage, drug abuse, a debilitating accident, depression and attempted suicide.
Married at the early age of 19, Christina worked a retail job and eventually pursued a teacher’s aide position. While working with a student, she took a serious fall, which changed the course of her life drastically.
“I was placed on bed rest for three years and that’s what caused my depression,” she says of her accident.
She started abusing crack as a form of medication to “numb the emotional pain” she was going through, but after a close friend overdosed and Christina resuscitated him back to life, she realized she needed to get help. She started to attend AA meetings, putting her drug abuse to rest. Yet, a year later, after taking drugs prescribed by her psychiatrist, she became mentally unbalanced and attempted suicide.
“To come from my physical injury, get involved in drugs as a method of medication, come out of it for five years and come so far, it really reminds me that ‘one day at a time’ does add up,” she says.
Christina now walks with a cane or for longer walks she uses a stroller walking aide.
“I’m still learning to accept my own capabilities. I’m coming in to my adulthood as disabled. Everyday life has become challenging. Even maneuvering across campus is sometimes difficult because I’m not used to traveling that far.”
This is the same girl who, before her accident, was always on the go. She claims she was “never home and constantly on the move.” On the weekends you could find her camping, bicycling, hiking or just picking up and doing something spontaneous. Going from constant movement to a limited state of mobility, she says somberly, “It’s been a huge readjustment of my life.”