No Longer Trapped in My Prison
Hi, I’m Stephen. The Mission has done for me what I couldn’t do for myself. It’s given me structure and a fantastic opportunity for recovery.
As the youngest of 4 growing up in the Boston suburbs, I feared my father. He’d come home and I’d never know what he was like. Our home was filled with a lot of chaos and arguments. Then at 10, my parents divorced, and everything changed. I didn’t have much discipline, and my mother was going through a really rough time, so there wasn’t much guidance either.
Around 12 I started experimenting with drinking. A few years after that, I began smoking marijuana. I dropped soccer, football, hockey, and basketball, stopped focusing on school, and started hanging out with the wrong people. My father condoned drinking for me around now, and warped my thinking about it. At 16 I dropped out of school completely—I wanted nothing to do with it—I just wanted to drink and do things how and when I wanted.
Then my drug use ramped up and cocaine came along. At first on Fridays and Saturdays I’d drink and use cocaine. After a couple of years, I took percocets and turned a 4-5 night per week drinking habit into an opiate habit. My drinking got out of control, and so did my car. I lost my license and got really depressed really fast. For five years I did opiates, and my life idled. Deep depression is all I got out of those 5 years.
After a few maxed credit cards and a personal loan or two, I found a less expensive option in heroin. Still, I started to steal and do whatever needed to maintain this habit. I gained and lost a girlfriend, and got very depressed and full of self-loathing. For years, I felt trapped. My quality of life was nothing. I was merely existing. I was homeless, sleeping in my car, without a job, nowhere to go, and committing crimes I would never have imagined.
And then, one detox showed me the way to the Boston Rescue Mission. Recovery in Boston is amazing. The meetings are great, I got a sponsor, and found some great guys in the house. I got help with proper medication, counseling, a structured and accountable community, and a job. From the work I’m doing in my program, I have great relationships with my family today. My father understands where his wrongs were, and we share a lot of remorse.
I have a real freedom of choice now, something I haven’t had for a long time. I don’t think that people fully understand how much we get out of their generosity. It’s actually changing people’s lives. I’m forever grateful to the Boston Rescue Mission and those who support it.