Not My First Rodeo
Before I begin, let me first say that this is not my first time at His Way. My graduation next month will not be my first.
I feel it necessary to give this disclaimer because I don’t want to send the message that the His Way program does not work. His Way does work!
The program has saved my life more than once. They gave me all the tools that I needed to overcome addiction as well as many other necessary tools to live a productive life and become a successful person.
I was the problem. I made a (horrible) decision not to follow the instructions that I received during my matriculation through His Way. Now I am back, remembering, re-doing, and re-establishing myself into a respectable life (in Christ) that is mine.
In this brief document I would like to tell you about a few of my experiences while at His Way. Namely, what the first few days, first few weeks, were like.
Before His Way
First, I did not want to go to rehab! No one, even when their life is completely ruined, wakes up and says to himself, “I think I want to go to rehab today.”
The thought is closer to, “I know I should get off the drugs, I know my marriage is in the dumps, I know that I am about to lose my job (or just lost my job), but maybe tomorrow. I will just get high one more time and deal with all those problems tomorrow.”
It is not until rehab becomes the better of 2 options, that rehab is considered. It took my wife saying that she was leaving me if I did not go to rehab. It took my boss pulling me into his office and telling me that he knew all the signs, asking me if I needed help. It took a judge telling me that I could either go to jail or rehab.
“OK….. OK…… I’m headed to His Way (again).”
Pulling up to His Way (as negative as i can possibly be) thinking this place looks like a brainwashing camp. It is pretty, however.
Oh look, a dog…two of them. I really like dogs, but I bet these dogs are vicious and they bite.
Who are all these men? Why do they keep speaking to me? They must want something from me because they are being way too nice (The brain-washing must be working on them).
After being checked in and drug tested (why do I need a drug test? Everyone knows that I am going to fail this test) I get shown my room. A very nice room. (Uh-oh!!!! There are two beds in here, I wonder who my roommate is? Am I going to get along with him? Does he snore?).
My room however, is clean and spacious. I meet my roommate and he seems cool. He says, “Welcome home.”
So far so good, but any second now the other shoe is going to drop. Time to eat! Commercial kitchen. Very nice. Food tastes amazing (part of the brainwashing). I hadn’t had a tasty well balanced meal since before I started getting high.
After the meal the guys hang out at the gazebo. This is very cool. They are throwing a football and playing cornhole. I love cornhole.
Everyone is smiling and relaxed and having a good time talking to each other. This killer attack dog, her name is Bella, keeps coming to me to pet her, and she will not stop licking me.
Breakfast, Devotion, Bible class, 30 min break, communication class, 30 min break, decision making class, study hall, dinner.
Wait!!! Another class, then chores. Lights out at 10:30. A full schedule for sure (Why do i have to take all these classes? I am here to get off of drugs. What is a Bible class going to teach me about drugs? Jesus never had a drug problem! Oh well, I am here, and I am rather comfortable so I might as well try to stick it out…besides, I am so tired of life that I don’t even want to leave. I just want to sleep).
Time is flying by. I cannot believe it has been 2 weeks.
I am volunteering to work afternoons at The Saving Way thrift store. I have a voucher and I am getting some clothes that fit (I seem to be gaining a few pounds, eating healthy again).
It feels really good getting out and working.
Well it’s been 16 days since I have used any drugs. It has been 7 days since I have even thought about using any drugs. I wonder why that is? Oops, now I am thinking about using drugs.
I had better finish my homework that is due tomorrow. The topic of discussion seems to be a lot about Jesus. I think I will look closer into this Jesus thing (thoughts of using fade away).
Day 30-31 (days clean)
I love it here! This is the structure that my life has been needing.
I really get a lot out of my classes. Tom’s Bible class is the best thing since sliced bread (Did you know that the 3 wise men were not at Jesus’ birth? They did not show up in Bethlehem until a year or so later when Jesus was a toddler?).
I realize that Jesus really loves me. He came to die for me. He wants to save me. From drugs, from sin, from death. I love Jesus and for the first time ever, I am starting to love me (maybe there was no brainwashing involved here…).
I see my parents all the time. My ex-wife and I are friends, and we talk often.
I give a weekly Bible study. I am saving money. My life is a night and day difference.
I work at The Saving Way thrift store and I love my job. I chose this job for a few reasons:
- I believe in His Way and support it anyway I can.
- The Saving Way sends proceeds to His Way.
- I enjoy interacting with the community.
- The “new guys” from His Way volunteer at the thrift store, so I get to spend some time with them and encourage them while we are working.
Some Parting Words of Wisdom
To anyone that is struggling with any type of addiction, hang in there. Do not be afraid to seek help.
I know that you are miserable. I have been there. There is a way out.
Happiness (I mean real joy) is possible. Try recovery! Try God! You have nothing to lose (you have lost everything else already).
There was no brainwashing involved, but I do think differently now. Maybe a better term would be soul washing…I have been washed in the blood of the lamb.
I am a sinner saved by grace, my name is Patrick.