Believe it or not, keeping a drug and alcohol addiction going can be hard work...especially if you’re trying to hide it from your friends and family!
For a majority of his young years, Joseph was in this very situation: “If I didn’t get my drugs every day, I’d be very sick. But I had to keep doing them because I thought they were making my life – my work, relationships, and living arrangements – more manageable."
Eventually, Joseph’s world came crashing down around him. “I ended up failing my last semester of college, so I wasn’t going to graduate. I got arrested and spent a couple of days in jail. And I was stealing from my parents.”
“I knew I needed to get help...to go into a program.”
Joseph’s drug use had all but ruined his young life.
He’d failed to graduate from college and had to move back home with his parents because he was spending his rent money on drugs.
“My parents were aware that I had a drug problem and we were looking at different options.”
“My Mom was in a Bible study at church and one of the women in the group introduced me to her husband who is a counselor here at the Mission.”
Joseph would have preferred an easier program...one that didn’t last six to nine months and didn’t require you to spend your first 30 days “doing chores, not using the phone, not having anyone visit and sleeping and eating with the ‘overnight people.’”
But what he finally realized was that “Market Street Mission might be the only program in the state that balances recovery with a Christian approach. It gave me the best chance of really grabbing onto recovery and keeping it!”
“They gave me grace.”
When he first came in, Joseph kept all his walls up. “I wouldn’t let anyone get close to me.” And despite all the restrictions, he found someone outside of the Mission who was selling drugs, and he began using again. “They sent me down to the relapse program at the Jersey Shore Rescue Mission in Asbury Park so I could get serious about recovery.”
It was there that Joseph came face to face with his addiction.
“I thought a lot about my choices and where I was going with my life. Luckily, the staff at the Mission saw potential in me and wanted to help me change my life!”
After three months, Joseph returned to the Mission in Morristown where he completed his recovery program.
“I really wanted to find my own way in life that didn’t involve drugs and alcohol. I had theological conversations, I talked about God, faith, the 12 Steps, sponsorship. That gave me a sense of belonging here.”
“I didn’t want to leave.”
Joseph graduated and found a job, but he didn’t really have a passion for the work he was doing. Then, a call came from the Mission. “They needed someone to run the dock at the Thrift Store. I decided to accept the job because the people here really care about each other and they understand what it’s like to go through recovery and come out on the other side.”
Today, Joseph says, “God is going to provide everything I need on the path that he has planned for my life!”
To read the rest of this issue of Market Street Mission Messenger, click here.
Help other men like Joseph…
Joseph's story of hope and healing is inspiring. Our Life Change Program exists to help other men in Northern New Jersey find healing. Will you help provide this help to others?