Mike is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and has been at Guiding Light for a little over two months. Like many men that arrive here, the concept of being emotionally vulnerable and having compassion for himself was a dubious proposition at first.
For many men struggling with addiction, the decision to get professional help only comes after the physical and mental desperation of day-to-day life reaches a breaking point. It only comes when the pain of staying the same exceeds the pain of trying to change. Still, when men arrive at the doors of Guiding Light, they often only seek the answer to one question: “How do I stop drinking and using?”
For Mike, the idea that there were deep wounds at the root of his addiction was difficult to admit at first. Two of the core curriculums of the Guiding Light Recovery program’s focus points, vulnerability and self-compassion, initially seemed completely un-related to the issue he came here for. Coming to realize that putting down the bottle was one of the least of his concerns was an eye-opening experience for Mike. “I had to go deep and figure out why I started drinking, and that’s what I found here at Guiding Light,” he said. “You find out about yourself and what you have to do to never pick up that first drink again. I drank because of the way I grew up. I drank because of what happened to me in the Corps, I drank because my heart’s been broke, and now, as I go through Guiding Light that all comes out, and the vulnerability and self-compassion takes hold and it makes me stronger.”
Rather than being the fiercely independent and singular-willed man that he was when he walked through our doors, Mike has found the family he always needed here. “What’s the most beneficial thing for me at Guiding Light? Everybody,” he said. “I have a whole family here. I didn’t have any family growing up. The only family I had was the Marine Corps, and then, when I couldn’t be a Marine anymore I had no family again. This is what I need, you guys are my family.” Today, Mike plans on staying at Guiding Light through his four months in the Recovery program, find employment, and move to Iron House. In following through with this treatment plan, Mike has a remarkably high chance (76% of clients stay sober over a year) at achieving lasting sobriety. “That’s why Guiding Light is the greatest place to come to…for me,” Mike says. “If you want to see people succeed in sobriety, this is the place for someone to be. They find structure and they find something new in their life…”
Mike is but one example of the miraculous turnaround we can see in clients that are given the proper resources, guidance, and time to realize their God-given potential. It costs roughly $300 a day to house, feed, and teach clients of the Guiding Light Recovery program. Thanks to you, the only cost required of them is their honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness to change. To all of our donors, volunteers, and advocates, thank you so much for all of your support. Thank you for helping men like Mike see that there is a life worth living in sobriety.
THIS MEANS THAT ANYONE WHO BELONGS TO CHRIST HAS BECOME A NEW PERSON. THE OLD LIFE IS GONE; A NEW LIFE HAS BEGUN!
2 CORINTHIANS 5:17