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“Tired of my Old Life, Ready For a New One”

It took two stays at Guiding Light for Dylan to find his way. And he’ll be the first to tell you why he needed that second chance: In the beginning, he just wasn’t ready to change.

It didn’t take long for him to relapse to drug use after leaving the first time. But even though he had given up on Guiding Light once before, Guiding Light never gave up on him. Executive Director Brian Elve stayed in touch, texting him, trying to convince him to return. It took a few years, and hitting rock bottom, for Dylan to turn back to the light. And it was different this time. “When I came back the second time, I was completely alone. I’d lost my kids. I’d been divorced. I lost everything. I had just got out of jail 12 hours before that. I finally had that ‘gift of desperation’ that people will talk about. I was tired of my old life, and I was ready for a new one.”

What Dylan describes is one of the core values we live and teach at Guiding Light: the need to WAKE UP to the life God has given us. “I was willing to do whatever it took. My biggest thing was responsibility. I decided, ‘I’m going to be on time for everything. I’m going to do all my work. I’m going to do whatever is expected of me.’”

Dylan set three goals: First, to earn the position of “houseman,” a role of responsibility in our 100% donor-funded residential recovery program. Second, to graduate to our sober living community, Iron House. He accomplished both of those and speaks with pride about achieving his third goal: The ceremony where he added his name to the wall with those who have reached a full year of sobriety. “That day was the first time I got to see my son again in four, five years. I gave my speech right in front of him. That was one of the best moments in my life, honestly.”

Today, Dylan is full of gratitude for new life and second chances. He speaks to his son every day and is working to reconcile with his daughter. He is living at Iron House as part of a community of men who shared his journey, who support each other, who have become part of his family. “I always like to say my life is better today than it has ever been in my whole life. I’ve accomplished so much in just a year. I’ve never been so happy where I’m at in life and where I’m going.”


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