Healing a Broken Life

Feb 16, 2017 | by By ahodges

Watching Andre stride confidently through the halls of The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center, it’s difficult to imagine that just a year ago he’d hit rock bottom after a lifelong struggle with addiction. Andre and his younger brother had been raised by their aunt and uncle after the passing of their mother, who had feared leaving her children in the care of their abusive biological father. Andre’s new home was overflowing with love for family and for Christ, but at age 16 he turned to alcohol and drugs to help him cope with the scarring memories of his earliest years. “I wasn’t raised around it, but there was something in me that was broken,” he explains. “Drinking and doing drugs just took that away.”

For more than 40 years he struggled with addiction, before finally seeking help in 2012. The program helped Andre get sober, but his recovery never felt complete. Then his aunt, the woman who had saved him both physically and spiritually, passed away just after Christmas 2015. Andre’s life quickly crumbled as his grief turned to anger. “I said, ‘I don’t care, I’m getting high. I’ve earned it.’ I was just mad,” he recalls. “After four years of being sober, in two weekends I had lost everything. My desire was to do enough drugs to take my life. That’s just how broken I was.”

Left with nothing, not even his faith, Andre walked into The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center, a broken and exhausted man. There he discovered something he’d thought was lost forever: hope. “Everything I needed was here,” Andre points out. “Not just help with my addiction, but I’ve got help with grief counseling, I’ve got help with my childhood abuse, and I’ve shared stuff about my childhood abuse that I’ve never even said out loud. Never. But I told it here.”

Andre discovered that faith way the key component missing from his previous recovery attempt. As his faith grew stronger, so did his ability to understand and conquer his addictions. “I’d never been to a church service before where most of the congregation are recovering addicts. I’ve never experienced that before, being in a place where we fellowship and we have church and that’s just as important as recovery. To have clergy here – that made all the difference in the world to me.”

Every day, Andre continues his journey of recovery, thanks to the support of donors like you who have faith in second chances and hope in your hearts.


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