A few weeks ago we heard from a guy that we worked with years ago. He was one of the first people to stay in our Safe House, he graduated from a recovery program, and started work with our Jobs Program. However, it didn’t take long for him to run back to the people and places he was most familiar with and his relapse began.
We’d hear from him periodically and he always tried to convince us things were going ok. But they weren’t and we could tell. Last week he reached out to us and said he was desperate and needed help. We drove him to put in an application at a program out of town and he was told the waiting list was going to be 4-5 weeks. We asked some people to pray for him and the waiting list.
He got a call over the weekend and they told him he could come today. That’s 5 days on the waiting list and not 5 weeks. Amazing.
So, today we met him at our office and made the drive back to the recovery program and dropped him off to begin his 4 months of treatment. He was anxious. He was mad at himself for being back in this situation. He talked a lot on the drive about being done and never going back to using again. That’s pretty normal for folks in his situation.
He repeatedly said, “I hate it. I don’t know why I keep doing it. I hate it.”
And that’s something for us to remember about addiction and addicts. They usually do hate what they’re doing. It’s not something they enjoy or want for their lives. It’s not something they’re flippant about.
It’s something they hate. It’s something that brings guilt and shame into their lives. And that’s part of the reason they run back to it. Because it’s an escape. Escape from the pain. Escape from the misery. Escape from the shame. Escape from the depression and anxiety.
We talked a lot about those things on the way. We talked about mental healthcare and therapy when he graduates. We talked about surrounding himself with healthy people. We talked about having a plan in place.
And we let him know that we’d be right here waiting for him when he graduates again, ready to walk with him through that process.
Because second, third, and fourth chances are often what it takes.