Thomas grew up feeling like an outcast, wanting nothing more than to fit in, to feel like he belonged. “I figured that if I drank like everyone else, I’d be wanted and accepted,” he says. “I started drinking at 16 and I liked how it made me feel.” After graduating from high school, Thomas joined the Navy and his drinking escalated. “By the time I left at 22, with an honorable discharge, I was drinking every day.”
Over time, his addiction destroyed his family and alienated his children. “I was alone and depressed and did anything I could to numb my pain. I was spiraling downward fast,” he says.
One day, he showed up to work still intoxicated from the night before and his boss sent him home. “I left with tears running down my face. I knew I needed help, but I couldn’t do it on my own. Thank God, my sister found the Mission.”
Thomas entered our Life Change Academy, where chapel services and Bible studies helped his faith to grow strong.
“The Mission taught me how to be a spiritual man and live a godly life.”
He’s also developed healthy coping techniques through our life skills classes. “I’ve learned how to live without alcohol,” he says. “I’m aware of what may trigger me to drink and know the signs that I may be heading toward a relapse.”
Now an Academy graduate, Thomas has been sober for more than four years. He works on our staff in facility management, and he has a second job working for a cleaning company so he can provide even more for his children. He loves inspiring others in the program who struggle as he once did, and his children are overjoyed at his transformation. “My relationship with my kids is really good now,” he says.
Your generous support has filled Thomas’s life with love, encouragement, and most of all, hope this Easter season. “I hated where I was in life. I’d hit bottom, but the Mission set me on a journey to recovery and I’m going to keep climbing.”
To read this issue of Hope Now, click here.