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Ed’s Story

Posted on Jun 17, 2014 in Success Stories

My dad’s training of me created a monster – but now I see myself as a blessed man! My name is Ed. I’m a Columbus native, spending most of the early part of my life in the “‘hood.” My dad was imprisoned for murder for most of my childhood. He was my hero and taught me how to be a man, by his prison standards. Although he was trying to help me, he created a monster. My mother was an ambitious, hard-working Christian woman who tried her best as a single mother. She hired a very young babysitter to care for me while she worked, and it wasn’t hard at all to slip past her. At age 9, I was already a burglar; I was caught and spent 6 months in juvenile detention. At age 15 I was introduced to marijuana by a neighborhood Vietnam vet. That was my introduction to drugs. My uncle was selling and influenced me to go to New York City for the summer at age 16, where I sold heroin. I came back at the end of the summer with lots of money – and a drug habit. I sold drugs to keep up my lifestyle; I’ve always liked clothes, and like to look good. Soon I was in some more legal trouble for theft and spent ages 17-21 in jail. Upon release, I went back to crime, living basically in a fantasy world. Many of my family members were contractors, so I learned the brick-laying trade, using drugs the whole time. I married, inherited my mother’s house when she died, and turned it into a dope house. Because they loved me, family members kept up with the taxes and keeping the place going, including getting me out of jail when necessary. I see now that they were enablers, although I appreciate the love shown. Finally, in 2003, I got tired of getting high and hurting the people I loved. I joined Valley Rescue Mission’s men’s substance abuse recovery program. I’m sorry to say I “faked it till I made it”; I learned a lot about God, but never got to know Him. I returned to brick masonry, staying clean for a while. I forgot about God when I started making money, leading a double life. I went to church and worked hard, but lived on the streets at night. It wasn’t long until I grew comfortable around drugs and started using again. My marriage was over and I met a wonderful, innocent woman (now my fiancée) who knew nothing of the drug life. I loaned her car to someone who was picked up for drugs, and the car was impounded. In order to...

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Angel’s Story

Posted on Apr 17, 2014 in Success Stories

I wanted to get clean, but couldn’t figure out how to get there on my own  My husband and I looked at each other in desperation, wondering how we could get the help we needed to get off drugs and stay off them. I called various programs I found in the Yellow Pages, but we knew we couldn’t quit our jobs and afford the high prices many programs charge. Where were we to turn? My name is Angel, and I’d been in and out of drugs since the age of 12. I had a rough childhood, with a mother who was an addict and a family member who sexually abused me. When he left the picture, I started drinking and smoking pot. I liked the way it made me feel; I’m shy and withdrawn, and the drugs and alcohol made me more outgoing. When I was 15, I started dating a 27 year old. By the time I got pregnant at 16, I was strung out really bad. I had my baby at 17 and was clean for 6 years. The baby’s dad went to prison just a year later, and I worked and took care of my son. He was my motivation to do well. Then I met a new guy, not realizing at first that he was into drugs too. Soon we were using together. My mother got custody of my 6 year-old son, and I went through a roller coaster of periods of sobriety, followed by relapse. I always believed there was a God, thought church (which I attended here-and-there) was a good idea for some people, but I just couldn’t wrap my mind around Jesus and what He had done for me by dying on the cross. In 2011, I found myself in a deep depression that lasted for months. I felt hopeless, worthless, and honestly believed that by taking my life I would spare the other people in my life, as I felt as though I was hurting them. I swallowed a bottle of pills, thinking I would just fall asleep and not wake up; I found myself in a tremendous amount of pain instead. I told my boyfriend what I’d done, then (while out in our driveway), I stopped breathing. He started screaming for help, which God had already arranged. A police officer “happened” to be next door. He rushed over, administered CPR, and I was taken to the hospital. I was placed on life support and was in a coma. When I started breathing on my own two weeks later, I struggled and fought the medical care they were giving me. I was strapped down yet still pulled out the chest tubes....

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Rick’s story

Posted on Feb 26, 2014 in Success Stories

If I couldn’t get help for my addiction problem, I didn’t want to live- but the Lord had other plans My name is Rick and I grew up in the Atlanta area. As a curious middle schooler, I dabbled with inhalants and found I really liked the feeling of being high. This led to alcohol and I took my first of many rides in a police car at the age of 14 – but this did not deter me from the road I was starting down. Soon I experimented with pot, and in high school I discovered every drug I could ever want. I started selling drugs to maintain my habit and made the mistake of selling to an undercover agent. My parents sent me to a psychiatrist when I was 15, who found that I simply didn’t care – I just wanted to get high.  After graduation, I worked in the construction field, where drugs and alcohol were very accepted. I was able to function at work and made good money, but was miserable. My drug and alcohol problem led to two suicide attempts, which were nearly successful. If I couldn’t get help for my addiction problem, I didn’t want to live-but the Lord had other plans. It also led to the failure of a business venture I started with my brothers and prevented me from making a career from my love of motocross racing, at which I was a semi-pro. I was introduced to meth during this time and did jail time for selling it. I was in and out of rehab programs, going to nearly every single one in the metro Atlanta region. In one of them, something stuck and I was clean for ten good years. I rose in the Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous ranks, serving as an officer at the state level and working in a treatment center. I actually considered a career of helping others at this center. I attended a church during the period, saying to myself, “I don’t know what these people have, but I want some of it.” It was there that I gave my heart to Jesus Christ and became involved in the church. As a drummer in rock bands, I used that musical talent to play for churches. I married, received a ten-year medallion for sobriety and thought I had a grip on my problem. That lasted until I was injured on the job and made the mistake of not telling the doctors that I couldn’t have narcotics. I was prescribed pain medicine and by the time those pills were gone, I had relapsed. This was even worse than the addiction time before. I manufactured meth, used...

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Richard’s story

Posted on Dec 18, 2013 in Success Stories

I was a tyrant and a terrible person – but as a Messianic Jew I have learned how to love It’s not easy being the second son in an Orthodox Jewish family. My name is Richard, and as the second son I received an education, but knew I would have to take care of myself since everything would go to the first son. I held a lot of resentment toward my father because of this and grew up to be very rebellious. Raised in an upper-middle class home, I developed a marijuana habit at age 14 and a cocaine habit in college (which I never finished). This led to my 45-year long substance addiction. I started a career in the automotive industry and was arrested in 1974 for chop shop activity and cocaine. The four years I spend in the prison system for this brought total shame upon my family, but thanks to their connections I was quickly able to get back to my career upon my release. I had lots of management experience; I wrote drug policies for my companies and sent employees for drug counseling, all while totally addicted to alcohol and drugs myself. I was a tyrant; I used whoever I needed to get to where I wanted to be and although married four times, never truly understood the meaning of love. I was loyal to no one except myself. Cocaine and alcohol were just embedded in me and part of who I was. Everything caught up with me after I retired in 2009, moved to South Carolina, and was spending lots of money on alcohol and drugs. I was picked up on an old warrant and returned to Columbus where I was convicted of three counts each of forgery and embezzlement. I served 108 days in jail then received probation. After leaving jail, I called everyone I knew to pick me up but for the first time in my life could reach no friends or family members. I had $30 in my pocket, which was unheard of for me in my past life. A chaplain at the jail advised me to spend the night at Valley Rescue Mission, then resume trying to reach people the next day. I was scared to death when I came into the transient dorm because I had never before been in a place like that. The staff took one look at me and said, “You’re not the type of person to come in here”, but I ended up staying for a few days. I was encouraged to sign up for the men’s addiction recovery program and knew I had to do something – I knew I was taking in entirely too...

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Posted on Nov 22, 2013 in Events, Success Stories

I saw my life just disappearing before me as I walked the streets… homeless.  Now life couldn’t get any better.   My name is Edward, and I never wanted to get involved with the things I chose to do. I had no father figure in my life – my mom did everything for us kids. When I was very young, she became drug and alcohol addicted due to the influence of a guy she met. All I knew was violence from the age of 6 or 7 on. I dropped out of school in the tenth grade, and my life was filled with fighting every day, drive-by shootings, and selling drugs. I first smoked pot at age 14 and sold it for many years. I couldn’t work due to health issues, so sold drugs instead to make a living. I remember being at a neighbor’s house one day watching him use crack. I asked for some, and it was downhill from there. Even though I saw what drugs had done to my mother, I still wanted to try them. It was like there was no way around it – I had to go through it. I saw my life just disappearing before me as I walked the streets homeless, staying in crack houses and sleeping in cars. I was tired and knew I needed somebody to help me. One day I had a very clear impression of God saying to me, “Call Valley Rescue Mission”. I literally jumped straight up, called, and spoke with Rob in the Howard Mott Center. This was on a Wednesday, and in just two days time I was accepted into the program on Friday. But I made up excuses to not come in as I still wanted to do more drugs. I was at a friend’s house, doing drugs with him, and we had run out of money. I was low, low, low. I saw how he was acting due to the drug use and knew I would lose hope and end up just like him if I didn’t act quickly. After all I went through I finally came to the conclusion that this is not the life I wanted to live. I entered the men’s substance abuse recovery program at Valley Rescue Mission and never looked back. From the first day I started learning about the Lord, and I was ready for this. I took me hitting rock bottom to realize that I can’t walk this life by myself. The burdens I was carrying were heavy; they wore me down and took my life away. But by the power God has invested in me, I have overcome those burdens that were like a...

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Posted on Oct 4, 2013 in Events, Success Stories

I thank God for my alcoholism – it ultimately led to my salvation I know that many people reading this are parents grieving over wayward children, asking themselves, “What did we do wrong?” My name is Don, and I watched my parents do that same thing for several years. The answer is “Nothing”; substance abuse is about an individual’s bad choices, not a bad home life. I was raised in a very decent, moral, loving family and can honestly say that I had a great childhood. I did well in school and sports, graduated from college in 1994 with an engineering degree and obtained a great job. By many people’s standards, I had it all.  I was able to travel internationally as part of my job and soon got caught up in the evening social scene of going out for drinks. My parents had warned me about the danger of drinking, as we had alcoholism on both sides of my family. But I made the choice to join my co-workers in drinking, and within 2 years realized that I had a drinking problem. I was a functioning alcoholic, but in my heart of hearts I knew what was really going on – and so did my family. I married and my wife and I had a beautiful daughter together. Unlike me, my wife came from a very tumultuous background and our marriage was hard. It all ended in 2008 when she committed suicide. That tragedy spun my alcoholism out of control. I tried some secular rehab programs, but none of them worked. In 2010 I attended a revival meeting, and it was there that I came to know Jesus Christ as my Savior. I had attended church as a child, and once, when caught up in the moment, even walked the aisle as a teenager, but there had been no relationship. This was real. So my problems were over now – right? Wrong! Within 5 months of that decision, God began the work of cleaning me up. I lost my job, then lost my house, broke up with a woman I was dating, then got a DUI that led to my parents taking over with my daughter. I asked the judge to allow me to go into a program, and he agreed. My parents had supported Valley Rescue Mission for a long time and referred me to come here. I poured myself into the men’s program, graduated in 2011 and began working for the Mission. I wanted a mother for my daughter and a wife for me, as well as to get my career back, so against godly counsel, left the Mission to marry. Things didn’t work out, and...

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