The Gift of Desperation
Hi, my name is Tom. Staying at the Mission has given me hope. I believe that God has put these people in my life, and that they have given me a purpose. Now I am accomplishing things, and every success builds on another. My main goal for the future is to reconnect with my children. I want to get them back in my life and be the father that I know I can be. Another goal of mine is to reach out and help others in despair. I want to come back to the Mission and take people out to some meetings. It was the gift of desperation that made it happen.
My addictions started at a young age. At 10 I was stealing bottles from the cabinets. My dad was an alcoholic and my mother worked all the time. I was left alone and wasn’t given very much affection. I used to sneak bottles down to the basement. It was exciting not knowing if or when I’d get caught. I quit school after the 8th grade, and started working full time. I worked off and on in construction and truck driving. I was a hard worker, but while driving my disease took off. Thank God I never hurt anyone.
2006 was the worst year of my life. I was tortured by my addiction. That year I had 18 alcoholic seizures, and was hospitalized each time for alcohol withdrawal. Even through all of that the thought of drinking occupied my every waking moment. I was completely homeless, went months without food, slept in snow banks. I was too proud to go to a shelter, but no matter how bad things got I couldn’t wait to get a bottle in my hand.
I came to the Mission after a messy divorce just devastated me. I really loved that woman, and didn’t realize how much I was hurting her. That’s the problem with alcoholism—you can’t see through the booze. I fell into a state of complete depression and went even further down the bottle. I was homeless, helpless, and hopeless. I went into a detox and begged the counselors for another chance. I was tired of killing myself. I came here with nothing. Now I have job and for the first time in years can walk down the street with my head held high without any shame, remorse or guilt. I’ll never forget my time at the Mission. I came here completely broken and the whole community put me back together.
With God’s help, and the help of Mission supporters, I’m at a place where I can rebuild my life. Without this help, 90 percent of us would be dead, and the others would be the walking dead. We love you and need you, thank you so much.
- Mary Ellen
- Joe D.