Mark is Rebuilding Relationships on His Road to Recovery

One of life’s most joyous occasions became rock bottom for Mark. His drinking at his son’s wedding last year led to relational conflicts that could not be ignored. Damage to his relationship with family seemed irreversible. He found himself lonely and isolated, trapped in his alcoholism.

Mark grew up in a hardworking family with a farm equipment company in rural Minnesota. They attended church as a family during his childhood. He started drinking at an early age during parties and gatherings. As he entered adulthood and became a salesman, the culture of “wining and dining” was just part of the job. His alcohol consumption was eroding his relationships, compromising his professional performance, and entangling him in legal issues. Alcohol was everywhere, and it had a grip on Mark.

Mark’s legal matters came to a head when a judge gave him one week to find a recovery program or be sent to jail. The ultimatum was a tall order, but he was determined to find a solution. His brother and son jumped in and started calling treatment centers and reaching out to any connections they had. Mark knew he needed more than the typical 30-day program. And then, with one day left in the judge’s order, Mark found the Christ Recovery Center (CRC) at Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities.

On his mother’s birthday of this year, Mark quit drinking. Walking into the CRC, he asked himself, “Why am I here? What happened?” His first weeks were filled with loneliness, anxiety and sadness. There was nothing to numb the pain—but he had CRC brothers around him going through the same thing and a support system in the program staff and structure. He was on the road to recovery.

In the past four and a half months, Mark has experienced drastic life transformation. He attributes much of his healing to the people at the Mission: chaplains, therapists, case managers, educators, program managers, substance abuse counselors, and the brothers at the CRC. Therapy has moved him forward in his healing journey. Chaplains have walked alongside him as he has renewed his relationship with God which has been there his whole life and is now flourishing. Educators have equipped him for future employment. He has even participated in a running group at the Mission, waking up early twice a week to run.

This transformation has begun to heal relationships in his life. His son has forgiven him. He now has the joy of reuniting with his grandchildren, whom he had been unable to see previously. He has come to a place where he can be joyous without drinking. He says, “There’s hope. There is always hope. If I can abstain from alcohol, I can find happiness.”

He credits much of his healing and sobriety to his relationship with God. When he contemplates God’s role in his life, he says, “He will bring you out of it. With God’s help, I can stay sober.”

Mark is taking it one day at a time. And with the luxury of time, he is well on his way to a life of sobriety.

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