“I was homeless and I drank quite a bit.” Looking back on his life before coming to Bread of Life Mission, it’s easy today for Troy to simplify his problems. However, during the eight months he spent as a resident in our LifeChange Recovery program, Troy had to dig deeper to identify the roots of his addiction and confront the consequences of his behavior.
“The more I drank, the more I felt sorry for myself,” Troy admits. At 52, he finally realized that he was caught in a vicious cycle of depression and addiction that couldn’t go on much longer. “I needed to figure something out before I got too old.”
Some years before, Troy had come to Bread of Life and found it be “a positive experience.” This time, however, he was ready to make some lasting changes in his life, starting with his response to challenges.
“It’s okay to be anxious or nervous, but I deal with it in a positive way,” Troy observes. “Today I stop, step back and think about it. I take a look at things and ask a question or two – what really happened, what’s going on? Or I ask, ‘Can you explain the situation a little bit more?’” Troy also says that the program helped him deal with his anger and made him “more clear-minded.”
There’s another reason for Troy’s newly found peace. After a lifetime of agnosticism, he has accepted that God exists. “I wonder if He has a good sense of humor,” Troy jokes.
Troy would like to get out on his own, but it might be a while as health problems prevent him from working full-time. “The monthly income I have through social security and disability won’t cover too much, so I need to find some kind of employment to supplement the income. That would require me to work with my doctor to be able to go back to work part-time.”
In the meantime, Troy volunteers in Bread of Life’s kitchen, washing dishes and helping with food preparation. Working in the kitchen also gives Troy the opportunity to connect with our guests. “To come inside to get something hot to eat on a cold day means a lot. I like to say ‘Hi’ to someone, ‘Have a good day, hope you’re doing okay.’”
September is National Recovery Month, but every day of the year we celebrate men like Troy who come to Bread of Life Mission to transform their lives. That’s an ongoing process for our neighbors who struggle with addiction, as Troy admits. “I’ve had eight months of not drinking,” says Troy. “It’s a good start.”