It came to the point where I was stealing change from water fountains in the middle of the night to support my methamphetamine addiction. I was homeless, living in storage units, sheds, and in my car.
It all started at the age of 12 when I had my ﬁrst experience with drugs and alcohol. For the next 26 years, I caused chaos and destruction all around me because of my addiction. I never thought about the loved ones I was hurting due to my selﬁshness. All I cared about was getting high.
Throughout the past 14 years, I’ve been to jail numerous times. I was sent to rehabilitation centers and tried many different programs assigned by the court, but these were all unsuccessful. The last time that I was locked up I knew something had to change. I was facing a possible nine years in prison and it was during this time one night that I had my ﬁrst spiritual awakening and my “moment” with God. I knew I couldn’t do this alone anymore.
My parents never gave up on me but they had to and cut off all ties with me. The life I chose to live was too much for them. It came to the point where I was stealing change from water fountains in the middle of the night to support my methamphetamine addiction. I was homeless, living in storage units, sheds, and in my car. I spent many nights at the Calvary Church parking lot. At this point, I was 6’4, 145 pounds and near death.
After my God “moment” I knew I had to start making changes. God gave me the strength to take the necessary steps towards my recovery. I ﬁrst completed the Liberty’s Pride drug program and a relapse prevention class in jail. Thank the Lord I was not sent to prison and made it out of jail. I placed myself in a program up north and graduated after eight months, but I still knew that wasn’t enough for me. I wasn’t ready and wanted and needed more recovery time. I called The Bridge and talked with Michele Casey. Five minutes later Mike Casey called me back and said, “We’d love to have you and there is a bed waiting for you.” I bought myself a bus ticket and was on my way. During my year at The Bridge, I got what I needed to prepare myself for the “real world.” I received support, counseling, and the spiritual guidance to spread my wings and ﬂy. Mike and Michele handed me the ball and it was up to me to run with it.
By the grace of God, I’m still moving forward and haven’t looked back. Since graduating The Bridge I’ve been living a clean and serene life. I got my smile back and everything that I ever wanted is happening for me. I moved into a new home that I can call my own. I have a great, stable job with the Paciﬁc Grove Chamber of Commerce where I’ve been working for the last four years. I also work at the new Second Chance thrift store in Monterey, which I enjoy very much. I ﬁnally got back the girl I’ve always wanted, who 20 years ago couldn’t be with me because I was on a dark path. The best part of it all, I have my parents back and we are a family again. I am now a person who can be trusted and people can depend on me. This is something that I’ve never felt before and it is amazing!
Even after almost six years of sobriety and being clean, I am still learning something new every day and strive to be better each day. I make it a point to stay connected with The Bridge and the men and women in it. I see them as my family. We are all here for the same reason, which is to get better. It doesn’t matter if it’s six years or six months. What we have is today and we need to make the best of it! It’s not about how many times you fall down, it’s about picking yourself back up and trying not to fall again. I am so grateful to God and thankful for Mike and Michele. The Bridge has helped me get to where I am today. Miracles do happen because you’re reading about one now.