When I Was Up a Creek, Guiding Light Threw Me a Paddle
Jordan came to Guiding Light three months ago after making the decision to put his family ahead of his addiction.
Having a wide array of people support is one of the biggest revelations for Jordan since arriving at Guiding Light in late 2022. Jordan admits he didn’t know much about what he’d find inside when he walked through the doors but quickly realized things weren’t going to be easy. “I was in the probation period but what I didn’t know is just because you’re in probation it doesn’t mean you’re accepted. Someone else who was in probation came in and said he was asked to leave, so that’s when I knew they weren’t not messing around.”
Jordan came to Guiding Light after a drunken night and altercation with his fiancé when police ended up getting called to his house. Authorities brought Jordan to a mental health facility where he was placed under suicide watch. That’s where Jordan heard about Guiding Light and realized it was time to commit to recovery after a decade of alcohol addiction. Once Jordan’s probation at Guiding Light was complete and he was accepted into the program, he quickly saw the full impact Guiding Light could have. “The homework was my first taste of what this was going to be like. It captivated me because it really made you think. It said on the homework there are no right or wrong answers so I didn’t rush through it and I realized it was pretty meaningful and thoughtful. It was just stuff that I hadn’t thought about in a long time.”
Jordan says the support he felt right away was a bit overwhelming after always thinking “he’s got this” when it came to getting sober. In the previous decade Jordan had received two DUIs, multiple probation violations and at one point voluntarily accepted a 45 day jail sentence just so he could get back to drinking sooner. “Thinking about what this place has to offer and what these people are willing to do for me, I was like ‘man this is really amazing. Do I deserve this?’” Jordan says his life coach was able to help him deal with those questions and has had a huge impact. His life coach reminds him that the staff at Guiding Light are his support system for the rest of his life. “I think the most important part of having that understanding is knowing that you’re not alone. Somebody’s in your corner. This place will change your life if you let it. It’s not easy, but a lot of things in life that are worth it aren’t easy.” From where he sits now, Jordan thinks it’s a miracle he made it this far, after his years of drinking led to suicidal thoughts in the summer of 2022. “I would be super intoxicated and it was just like a super foreign feeling that I had never, ever thought of before. That was really concerning because I was like ‘that’s not me, you know?’ I was severely, severely depressed.” Jordan says in addition to getting help from the staff and the other men in the recovery program, he’s leaning into his spirituality. “Spirituality is important, I’m reading three books on it now and going to services. It’s like you thought you were okay but you weren’t. You weren’t living on the path you’re supposed to be on and I think having a spiritual guide to keep you on the right path is important.” Jordan’s ultimate goal is to move back home. He wants to be a family man, marry his fiancé and be the father his four kids need. “I look forward to starting over with my family because that’s what I’m here to do. I’m here to connect with my true self who I was before addiction, while at the same time really putting an emphasis on what I’m learning here and on a new way of living.”
And he’s going to try to instill everything he learns at Guiding Light into his kids. “I’m going to make little lights out of them,” he says. “The stuff that they teach you here isn’t just for recovery. I feel like these same principles should be taught in school.” Jordan knows that he’s been given a second chance. A second chance at life. A second chance at being himself. A second chance at being a good partner and father. And now, he has the world in front of him, a feeling he hopes to help others find someday. “I am a believer that gratitude is an action rather than a thought. I plan on putting the gratitude that I have towards this place into action.”
And his message for the donors, Guiding Light staff, sponsors and everyone who is helping him as grows into his new life? “Thank you for giving me the chance to find myself and a chance at being part of my family again. I’m sure you all know the saying. Well, when I was up a creek, Guiding Light threw me a paddle.”