“This place saved my life.”

“A year-and-a-half ago, I would’ve tried to steal my mom’s meds. Instead, I was able to be her caregiver her last week of life. And she was able to see me sober.”

Raised in a Christian home and attending a private, Christian school as a three-sport athlete, John hoped to continue playing football in college. But shoulder and knee injuries his senior year ended that dream.

John figured that if he couldn’t play sports, he would party. That decision launched a long cycle of addiction, stealing, jail time, treatment, and relapse.

Eventually, John lost his car, phone, and wallet, and—banned from his parents’ house—had nowhere to go. “I had nothing.”

Not knowing where to turn, John called home. “I begged my mom, ‘Please, let me stay at the house for two weeks. I’ll get into treatment somewhere.’”

It was there, at his parents’ house, John first encountered hope. His girlfriend’s father, Mike, and another UGMTC volunteer named Bruce— both Christ Recovery Center (CRC) alumni— came to meet him.

“Am I being the
man of God my
mom would want
me to be?”

“My life is in shambles. I can’t use anymore, or I’ll go to prison—or die. I have jail time looming over me. I don’t have a clue what I’m going to do, and I’m completely scared out of my mind. But something happened that day. I had this overwhelming sense that everything’s going to be okay.”

Not long after, John enrolled in CRC.

“At first, I was just existing. I wasn’t doing any of the work with God that was suggested to straighten out spiritually.”

Then, around Christmas 2020, John’s girlfriend, Dante, relapsed in her battle with drug addiction and died within a month.

“That was a breaking point for me. That’s when I started following suggestions and putting stuff on paper—seeing my selfishness and self-centeredness, asking for God’s help, and then straightening out the wrongs I made in my past.”

One of the most meaningful ways John made amends was by providing direct care for his mother during her final days of life.

“The last week my mom was alive, I took care of her 24/7. I felt her last heartbeat and heard her last breath. If I hadn’t come to CRC, I wouldn’t have had that experience.”

John is honoring his mother’s life by following God and helping others. “I trust God, but it simplifies things to ask, ‘Am I being the man of God my mom would want me to be?’”

“I wish I could reiterate to people trying to get sober that it’s so worth it. I had to go through what I went through to get to where I am. I’m grateful for it today. And you know what? It’s great. Life’s great.”

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