I truly believe I was born an alcoholic. The first drink was just the start of it.
My mom committed suicide when I was nine years old. Then my sister and I went to live with my real father, who I really didn’t know well – I just saw him on Christmas.
I started drinking that summer. It was a security thing – replacing my mother. I was always really big for my age, so I fit in to an older group.
Drinking and sports were a big part of my life throughout middle and high school. I really believe I was a full-blown alcoholic by 12.
I got married when I was 22 and also quit drinking. After five years, we decided to have a baby. I was a workaholic and a body builder, so it took 16 hours a day to do everything that I wanted.
I kept using work and working out to outrun my childhood pain, not realizing what I was doing. Everything on the outside looked good but I was dying inside.
One night after work, I picked up a drink. We ended up getting a divorce 6 months later. I couldn’t stop.
Throughout my 30s I buried myself in work. No matter how I did in life, I always ended up alone.
Something was missing and I didn’t know what.
With sports, I had hurt myself physically and by my early 40s, my body started falling apart. They declared me 100% disabled when I was 46. I had to go on Social Security. In an eight year period, I had 30 surgeries.
In 2015, I was still drinking and I’d lived in the same apartment for 10 years. I spent the month of December in the hospital. When I got out, my apartment was empty. I had been evicted. I spent all my savings over the next three months on motels.
On March 17, 2016, I became homeless. A lady from Opportunity Council brought me down to the Lighthouse Mission. I’ve been sober since that day.
This time, I wasn’t detoxing. I started thinking, What’s going on? It was the first time ever that I didn’t have a hard detox. I felt like I was being carried.
After six months of staying there, I had heard about the New Life Program and didn’t think it was for me. I woke up one morning, sat on the edge of my bed, and I said,
“There’s got to be more. I have to learn who God is.”
I was hesitant at first. I’d never been able to share things from my past with anybody, but things were coming out that even I had forgotten about.
I had no biblical upbringing, but I always believed. With the classes, I felt like I was six years old, starting out, but I wasn’t ashamed because I was open to learn.
The presence of God in my life today is amazing. That hole in me that was there for 50 years has been filled with God.
Without donors, I know things wouldn’t be happening here that help so many and makes such a difference in people’s lives.
The Mission is available all the time. It’s amazing that people in Bellingham do not have to go hungry or be cold if they don’t want to. The love of God is so present in these buildings.
Thank you, thank you!
What you do here makes such a difference! It blows me away that there are people out there who live by their beliefs and from their hearts.