High on Life
Hi, My name is Dale. After years of battling an alcohol and drug addiction and six months living on the streets, the Boston Rescue Mission has helped me get my life and self esteem back.
After I graduated high school in 1979 I joined the Navy. With the Navy I travelled the world it was the best years of my life, but it was also the start of my addiction. In those four years there was a lot of drinking and partying. After finishing the Navy the drinking and partying continued.
Even if travelling the world, partying, drinking, drugs, and women sounds fun, you can’t live this kind of life and not pay for it. I was making good money as a dry-waller but I was letting drugs and alcohol take over my life. After a long run with cocaine I quit and went strong on alcohol. Within a month the alcohol took me out. I lost EVERYTHING. I started out sleeping on my friends’ sofas, which turned into hallways, abandoned houses, roof tops, stations, and finally Franklin Park. It was scary; the police kept kicking me out, there were a lot of fights; it was not a pretty sight. I lived like this for six months. I wasn't taking showers for weeks. People probably thought ‘get your stinky self away from me.’
Every night on the streets, through detox, and in my early days at the mission I remember praying and crying myself to sleep, asking myself ‘how did I wander so far?’
If one person can learn a lesson and avoid the path I took, it’s worth telling my story. If you decide to go down the road of substance abuse I would say: ‘stop and think-what’s it going to cost you in the long run.’ Many people don’t live long enough to get a chance to see the results, but I am blessed enough to still be alive.
The Boston Rescue Mission gives you all the tools you need to transform your life. But if you don’t make the effort to open the tool box, nothing is going to happen. I started out with a few weeks of private intensive outpatient therapy on top of group therapy and case management. They gave me clothes, three great meals a day, a shower, a roof over my head, and my self-esteem back. I felt better and better each day. And things keep coming back in my life. I got back into the union, making great money, and got my wife and kids back too.
I wish I could personally meet all those who contribute to the Mission; I would thank them for every dollar, donation, and minute of their time. This is a great program here; a lot of people probably don’t realize how much the Boston Rescue Mission changes a person’s life on a daily basis. I am high today, but not an intoxicated high, I am high on life! I pray to God every day to keep me strong because I know one bad decision can put me back where I was before.