10 Aug Dino wants to share how your support changed his life!
A Heart of Thanksgiving
Dino wants to share how your support changed his life!
“I didn’t care about anything… I had no will to live.”
As a child, Dino was picked on because of his dyslexia. His feelings of inferiority led him to operate out of fear, only doing things where he knew he could succeed. As he grew, he developed a coping mechanism: “I used laughter to cover up a lot of the things I was afraid of. I geared myself toward having a good time because it was easy,” he said.
The lifestyle of partying gave him an escape from his insecurities, but it also led to drug use. “In the beginning it was fun, in my 20s. I knew I was an addict, but I figured if I could control it, I’d be ok,” he explained.
However, when Dino’s brother died, drug use became a means of covering up his pain. “That propelled my addiction to a very aggressive state,” he said. “I didn’t care about anything or anybody around me – not the fact that I lost my brother, not mourning with my family. I had no will to live, and I think subconsciously I was trying to kill myself through drugs.”
That same year, another one of Dino’s friends passed away. At that point someone told him, “You’re going to be the next one to die if you don’t get help.” That realization sank in – he knew he needed to change.
Dino came to the Market Street Mission and joined our addiction recovery Life Change Program. He was uncertain at first; his initial plan was to stay 90 days and then leave. But as he started hearing the stories of other men in our program and seeing how their lives were changing, it gave him hope. He decided to stick it out and complete the program.
“I loved the camaraderie, the brotherhood, the pain we all went through, and the laughter. It showed me how to live again, differently,” he said.
Your compassion and generosity gave Dino the opportunity to rebuild his life in our program. Through Bible studies and mentorship, he began to heal. He reestablished his relationship with his parents and found healthy ways to mourn the loss of his brother. He also started learning more about God’s love.
“When I got here, I had to realize that God isn’t a dictator. He came here on Earth and died for us to cover our sins. The love of the Gospel pierced through my heart, and it softened me where I was hard and careless. I love that about the Gospel.”
Dino made great progress, and he graduated from our program. But when covid hit, he relapsed and fell back into old, destructive behaviors. However, he knew that a life of addiction was not what he wanted. He enjoyed the sober life he had built at the Mission.
He decided to reach out and ask for help again, and our team encouraged him to join the relapse program at our Jersey Shore Rescue Mission location. Over time he was able to get back on the path of recovery and reconnect with God. He dedicated himself to studying the Bible, and also found meaning and power in serving others.
“I’m able to show the same kind of love that was shown to me,” he said. “We get people here right at the finish line of life, and to see people stop and turn around, embrace what they have, and give back to their fellow neighbor and brother, that’s huge. I’ve seen people come in with half of their clothes on, dirty and smelly, and I was one of them. And [the Mission] embraces you, they give you food and a place to live, and they show you God and where the love is. These people really are a family. That’s what we’re supposed to be, as Christian brothers and sisters.”
Thanks to your prayers and generous support, Dino completed our relapse program and became an intern to serve in a leadership position at the Jersey Shore Rescue Mission for two years. And now, he works on staff as our JSRM Kitchen Manager! Because of you, Dino is celebrating new life – and sharing his hope and blessings with the people around him.
“I’m thankful to the Mission for being clean and sober, and having a relationship with God. I didn’t know my faith would be found through this place. I don’t look at myself as a failure or a worthless drug addict – I look at myself as very blessed and fortunate. I love what I do, and the only thing that matters now is the next day clean, serving God.”
To read the rest of this issue of Market Street Mission Messenger, click here.
Help other people like Dino…
Dino’s story of hope and healing is inspiring. Our long-term recovery programs exist to help other men and women find healing. Will you provide this help to others?