I found myself at a low. No home. No job. Drinking every day. Abusing drugs. My issue was alcohol and marijuana. I was drinking for over 20 years. If I was sad, I went to the drink. If I was happy, I went to the drink. Any type of emotion I was dealing with, I would drink. So my living situation was just one foot from being in the street.
There was this one day where I was actually at an abandoned apartment, staying with a cousin of mine. I found myself in a situation where I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t have any guidance anywhere. My life just spiraled out of control. I had no contact with my family, I was separated from my wife, and I had little contact with my children.
Why am I living like this? Why am I accepting this reality?
I felt like it needed to stop. I had enough.
I wanted to get sober because I wanted to change my life, not just get sober. And that’s a big difference. Some people want to just stop drinking, but the behavior stays the same. They’re still hanging around the same people. They’re still in the same environment. They’re still doing the same negative things.
There were people around who were not necessarily positive in my life, and I just had to separate myself from that. Not necessarily bad people, not to pass judgement, but there were things that I wanted in my life that they didn’t want in theirs. So I had to make a change.
I first came to Samaritan Inns in March 2015. I started with the Adult Treatment Program. From there, I progressed through the Transitional Living Program. And from there, into the Affordable Housing Communities Program.
I liked the fact that Samaritan Inns is a drug free environment. I like the fact that there are counselors around me. I like the fact that there are other people around me within the program that understand what I’m dealing with and what I’m going through—that support system. So, I bought right into it. It’s benefited me to this day.
There’s no drugs. No alcohol. You can always talk to someone about things you may be dealing with. People are always checking up on you. It’s a great community. And it was a day by day process. That first day was tough. That second day was even tougher, but I had a lot of positive people around me telling me, “Hang in there. It’s going to get better.”
There’s a set discipline you have to go through. You have to meet with your counselor on a regular basis. There were some things you had to report in and on time. Time management, being responsible for your actions, making sure you’re where you’re supposed to be, spiritually growing, and you have to be actively seeking employment or be gainfully employed.
I’ve been on my job—it’ll be a year this month. Started off part-time, quickly went to full-time, and quickly got promoted to a lead position. I’m saving money, talking to my children on a regular basis, have a great relationship with their mom, my parents are still living and I have a great relationship with them, re-connection with my community.
I’m just making better decisions. Constantly growing.
And while you’re employed in Samaritan Inns’ Affordable Housing Communities Program, if you invest 50% of your salary there is a program which will supplement the other half, and will actually pay your rent for six months. A lot of people who have substance use issues, also have life issues. So this kind of helped me with discipline with my money. I could start a savings account and pay some old debts off.
So I had a great start. A great foundation.
There’s no doubt in my mind that if I stayed out in the environment I was in, that’d I’d probably either be dead,
incarcerated, or in the street just wandering around, still trying to figure out my next move.
Thaddeus, my counselor at Samaritan Inns, would always ask, “What’s going on with you? What’s happening with you? How are you feeling? Do you have any questions? What can I do to help?”
“We told Tim to continue to pray, continue to speak with his sponsor, continue to go to meetings, and he began slowly buying into this process. We could see the change in him. He became more open to new ideas, he slowed down, and he was able to get employed.” – Thaddeus, Counselor
I still lean on him. I still call and say, “Hey, this is what’s going on with me.” He still offers advice in those areas. Most importantly, he says, “Just stay connected. Make sure you’re with the winners. Make sure you were those who want what you want. Always attend meetings.”
Meetings are one of the biggest things. Just remind you from where you’ve come. And it reminds you of that first day. It reminds you how far you’ve come.
I have a son who’s in college. He’s going into his final year. I’ve got an 11 year old daughter. She’s going into the 6th grade. Also have a younger son, he’s going into the 3rd grade. All honor roll students. Proud as I can be!
I owe that to God. I mean I pray every day. I try to remain focused on everything I need to do. Always mindful on where I came, but within a year, it’s amazing how far I’ve come. I am just thankful every day. This past year has been incredible and life changing. I’m just excited for the next year, to see what God has to offer. I thank Samaritan Inns.