Our country is experiencing a drug epidemic. 100 people die a day from drug overdoses. Heroin is taking out entire cities. People are becoming hopelessly addicted to painkillers. Meth labs are everywhere.
But all is not lost. There is hope. There is healing. Today we are sharing with you a story of one of our friends, a graduate from Spring to Life, Jeff.
Jeff’s story is one of pain and devastation but also hope and inspiration. This may mirror your life. This may mirror the life of your loved one. We want you to know that addiction can be treated and a fulfilling life can be had. Jeff is proof. Read on.
What is your background? How did you start doing drugs or drinking?
I really had a great life, with good family, friends, and kids. For so long, my family was my priority. But things changed. I slipped up and started using drugs and that’s when I started losing my priorities. My drugs of choice, methamphetamine and marijuana, became more important to me than my relationship with my family.
What happened after that?
I got into trouble with the law several times and was in and out of jail. Each time, I just kept going back to what I was doing before. In 2012, I had gotten into an altercation with police and was incarcerated, and that took me away from my family.
How did you get help for your addiction?
By the time I made parole, my father had passed away. I had no job and nowhere to go. I was exhausted, and I knew I needed help for my addiction. But I truly felt like there was no way to climb out of it; I was fatigued.
I knew I couldn’t do it on my own anymore. So I prayed and asked God to take over. I didn’t care what direction He lead me. I just needed to go.
I started looking into going to a halfway house when a friend of mine found a place called Vertava Health. He gave me the application and I half-heartedly filled it out. About one week later, I was accepted into the transitional living program and met with Pastor Erik Hines.
That opportunity is one that I won’t ever forget. Pastor Hines gave me a chance. God gave me that chance for a reason.
What was it like when you arrived at Spring to Life?
When I first got to Vertava Health, Pastor Adam welcomed me and all of the guys were very accepting. That first week, I didn’t have anything. No resources, no job, no job leads.
I started going to the classes, which gave me strength and courage to come out of the hole I was in. I started filling out applications and going to career centers. Pastor Adam played a big role in getting me back on my feet.
That first week, I had a reality check, and I felt my spiritual growth almost immediately.
What did goals set for yourself while at Vertava Health?
I set three goals for myself:
1. Build a relationship with God
2. Find a job and work to provide for myself and my family
3. Repair my relationship with my father-in-law and mother-in-law that had been broken by addiction for nearly 10 years
Were you able to achieve those goals? How did you work towards them?
Through the program at Vertava Health, I had access to churches and community events that gave me the basic structure I needed to succeed in those goals I put forth.
Within the first month, I felt like I could reach my first goal. I started building a relationship with God, and that paved the way for my other two goals.
I was able to get a job, and while I was working, God was working in my life. I started sending home money to my family. Providing for my family again felt like a million pounds was lifted off my shoulders. Working, along with the good friends I was making, and the great program I was in – I really began feeling more confident in myself.
About two months into the program, Thanksgiving was approaching. My wife’s dad called her one night and asked her if I’d be able to come home and join them for Thanksgiving. When I came to visit, my father-in-law told me that he was willing to try our relationship again. That was really a turning point for me – I never thought they would have invited me back into the family like that. It inspired me to do the very best I could do for myself and my family. After that, I started spending weekend passes with my kids, and rebuilding the relationship with my mother-in-law and father-in-law.
Everything drugs took away from me, I’ve gotten back through faith and hard work.
What would you tell someone who is in denial about their addiction?
Addiction hits the heart of everything you love. It takes away everything to the point that it feels like you can’t get out.
But going to Spring to Life, I’ve learned that it’s never too late. You can’t get so far gone that there’s no recovery. It takes work to get you there, though. You have to have faith in yourself, God, and the program. The program can get you in the right direction, but you have to do the work and have the faith.
How is your family healing?
I’ve got my family back. I’ve got my stability back. I go to church with my mother-in-law and father-in-law and help them with everything. I now have the opportunity to be there for them – I do the yard work, I cook, I help around the house; everything I ever wanted to do and then some.
What would you tell someone about Spring to Life to inspire them to get treatment?
Vertava Health of Tennessee and Pastor Hines gave me a chance; that opportunity to be released from jail when I had nowhere else to go. I found acceptance from the group, guidance from Pastor Adam, and followed God’s will to get where I am now. I can tell you, it is never too late for recovery.
What keeps you sober each day?
I Thank God every day. I still have struggles and there are still roadblocks, but I’m able to get through them. I don’t take anything for granted anymore.
I still have flashbacks, but I see myself from a different perspective and I have the strength to stay on the right path.