Prior to arriving at The Salvation Army in Tyler I was hopeless. I had been charged with check fraud and was on meth and estranged from my family and God. I was living on the streets of Dallas, strung out with nowhere to go and no one I could call. My dad, who had also gone through the Reconnect program, turned his life around. So, I knew, or at least I hoped, it would change mine. I arrived here and was accepted into Reconnect and started listening. I didn’t always like what I was told, but I figured out that if God was going to use this place and the people here, then I had to do what was asked of me. And God started using the people here to kelp me, and do for me what I couldn’t do for myself. I am extremely grateful to The Salvation Army in Tyler for providing me with time, people, and resources that I needed for changing my life. Words can’t really describe just how thankful I really am.
I was born into a family of alcoholics. My mom and dad both drank. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and hearing mom and dad arguing. I would wake up the next morning seeing mom with black eyes and bruises.
Mom and dad divorced when I was in the second grade. I remember so clearly mom picking me up from school with black eyes and bruises on her neck where dad had chocked her. Mom and dad both remarried and of course my stepdad and my stepmom both drank.
My first taste of alcohol was around my 21st birthday. At first I would drink for a while and be able to stop for months and even years at a time. About 8 years ago my drinking progressively got worse. I would drink on my days off (we called those whisky Wednesdays because that was my day off work) then I would drink on weekends. My mom passed away almost four years ago and my drinking went way out of control. In July 2011 I got my one and only DWI on my way to work. I called my boss and lied and told her I was going to jail over unpaid traffic tickets. When I got to jail my boss was on the phone with the jailers and found out the real reason I went to jail. The next day when I bonded out my bass was waiting to help me go get my car. She told me that if I hadn’t bonded out she was going to come up with the money to bail me out. You would think that would have woke me up, but it didn’t. Two weeks later I showed up at work smelling like whiskey. I lost my job. The lights, water and phone got shut off. I was losing my mom’s house to back taxes. Every dime I could come up with was going on alcohol. I was consuming a liter to a half gallon of whiskey a day.
In December 2011 me and my husband got into a huge fight. My daughter called the law and my husband was taken to jail and me and my daughter went to a women’s shelter. CPS was called in and it was suggested that I get help with my alcoholism. I ended up in Kaufman, TX in a rehab called The Genesis Center. I wasn’t exactly happy there. Finally, after five weeks I was kicked out of there. I thought I could make it with only five weeks in rehab. But I couldn’t. About one hour after I thumbed a ride home. I was going crazy looking my next drink. I went to everybody I knew trying to get a ride to the liquor store. Nobody would help. They didn’t want to see me drink myself to death, which was what I was wanting to do.
The next day I was sitting on my front porch lost, depressed, and angry because I wanted a drink and couldn’t get it but I also knew that I really needed to find another rehab to get into. A good friend of mine showed up and we started talking. She asked me what I was going to do and I told her I didn’t know but that I knew I needed help with my alcoholism. She told me that if I was serious about needing and wanting the help she would go home and start doing research on finding some help for me. Within a couple of hours she was back at my house and told me to be ready to leave the next day. My husband showed up later that evening with a liter of whisky. I told him of my plans and he was shocked and relieved. On Saturday, February 4, I was dropped of here at The Salvation Army. Now, when I got here, I didn’t know anything about Reconnect. I was just dropped off for the work program. I knew the work program wouldn’t be enough. I heard people talking about Reconnect. When I was finally told what Reconnect was, I knew right then and there that was what I needed.
On February 8, 2012 I was accepted into the Reconnect Ministries. This was the best day of my life. Thanks to God, The Salvation Army, Reconnect, Cheryl & Trevesia, I have been sober for almost 14 months. I have a relationship with God and my family.
My connection with God is that he gave his only son Jesus who died on the cross so I can have eternal life. I live in Jesus and Jesus and I live in God. My spiritual walk is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness. It provides me with the only pathway to wholeness and it’s a good program for reconciliation and healing. Scripture keeps you motivated such as James 4:8, James 4:7, Philippians 4:13, Matthew 20:26. I will put my 12 steps into action in my life everyday because they have power and principle clearly revealed in the Bible. They are a true source of wisdom and I utilize them in my recovery daily. With them I can and will stay clean and sober with God.
My goals for the next three months are to keep God first in my life, go to meetings and church, pray, live on day at a time, be a Godly man to my wife and child, be faithful, trust and believe God’s word, and work a program of recovery. My goals for six months is to be better, stronger, and wise in the Lord, leader of my house, clean and sober and still working the program with God and helping others.
From my addiction I have learned to keep God first no matter what happens, don’t use or drink, think before acting, ask for help and help others, be honest with self, trust others who are Christian and in recovery, be committed, no turning back, no quitting or giving up, and be patient because this is a process. It’s going to take time. Let God and let God and stay hopeful.
The years leading up to my finding The Salvation Army I was managing Taco Bell’s all through out East Texas. I was in and out of trouble with the law and became severely addicted to Methamphetamine. I came to The Salvation Army after my last relapse. I stayed because I heard about the rehab program offered. When I came to The Salvation Army I was in need of rehab. and freedom from my addiction to drugs. Since coming to The Salvation Army, my family has started the healing process, I have gained and sustained employment, I have become strong in my faith, and my overall situation has improved. I have reached many goals since coming to The Salvation Army. Since coming to The Salvation Army from day one, to now look back, there is so much more peace in my life. I have had the opportunity to grow so very much. Without The Salvation Army I would still be out there either locked up from my drug use, or worse, still separated from my God. It’s the best gift anyone could give me.
I came to The Salvation Army on Feb. 28th of this year due to a very long addiction to meth and alcohol. Walking through that door was the best thing that has happened to me and my family. Soon after being here I gave my life to Christ, and my life began to change. I learned to forgive myself for the past, and slowly started to love myself again! But more importantly I have restored my relationship with God. Without him none of this could be possible. He never gave up on me, even through my addiction he was there. His love is incredible, and is like no other! My children and I now have a promising future, and can’t wait to see what he has in store next. It was GOD, the Reconnect Ministry and the counselors I want to thank from the bottom of my heart! Without them none of this would have been possible.
Just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul. Because of you and the Reconnect program, I’m not afraid anymore. I have been a alcoholic for 1/2 of my life. This lead to other drugs. Most importantly I wasn’t acting or doing like the man I really am. I’m a God fearing man and have the desire to help my others. I hid my addictions. Through the salvation of Jesus Christ I am now free of these things. I always was but it was your help, staff and my group that has allowed me to be “born again” into Christ.
Thank you for your help and spiritual guidance to lead me back to my Lord and Savior. You help others, you do “serve and save” and are “Doing the Most Good.” I plan on, no, I will continue my journey even after Phase II in some form with Reconnect and The Salvation Army. Thank you!
Yours in Christ,