A New Hope

My name is Derrick, and I’m a recovering alcoholic and a drug addict! I was born in New Jersey, and I moved to Florida at the age of 22. I was a late bloomer when I was introduced to drugs and alcohol, but when I started using them at the age of 25, it took me less than six months to lose everything that I had. Drugs and alcohol led me to a dark place of violence, stealing, hospitals, mental institutions, and finally prison. All those consequences never stopped me from picking up a drink or using a drug. I had over 50 prior arrests, and all of them where a result of drinking and doing drugs. Florida was so fed up with me, they were ready to give me life in prison.

I made a decision to move to New Orleans at the age of 38, but I still chose to drink and do drugs. I was homeless and living under the bridge, sleeping on a concrete slab. I had a five hundred dollars a day crack cocaine habit with no will to live. While panhandling, a van with the Bridge House logo on it came and picked a few of us up and took us to “Christmas in The Summer”, where they fed us and gave us clothes. A few days later, with my heart beating two hundred beats per minute, I checked myself into Detox. After three days, they sent me to a place called New Hope NOLA, and where they referred me to Bridge House. I went to Bridge House and the staff and the clients were genuinely kind, but I was afraid that I was a lost cause. I left Bridge House after 20 minutes of my admission.

The second time I came back to Bridge House, I stayed for six months, but I didn’t take any of their suggestions serious enough, and I relapsed after a year. I was dishonest and wouldn’t get down to the core of my problems. I ended up back under the bridge and my life was in shambles. I knew that I had a purpose in life. That day, I saw The Bridge House van again, and I got on my knees and prayed. I went to the hospital and then went back to Bridge House. I was willing to take suggestions, follow instructions, and use my counselors to get to the core of my problems.

Bridge House taught me a new way of life, such as responsibility, honesty, and forgiveness with yourself. Once I started to believe that, things started to change. I then completed Bridge House and took what I learned from Bridge House with me. I landed a job next door at Restaurant Depot as a Forklift Operator. Because of Bridge House, I have learned how to be responsible, on time, honest, and grateful. By taking suggestions, I have received blessings after blessings. I am currently two years clean and sober. I am living on my own with my fianceé in an actual house, I am currently in college for Business Management, I am about to be a father, and I was just promoted to Assistant Floor Manager. I am indebted to Bridge House for giving me a chance to change my life.

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