I had the privilege of using Catholic Charities for drug treatment, which saved my life. I had been using drugs since I was 13 years old and after numerous failed attempts… I am finally sober. I am a 52 year old male who has over 10 attempts before gaining the gift of sobriety with the help of Catholic Charities. My addiction has cost me my family, my freedom, and many jobs. I had many attempts of sobriety through treatments sponsored by my previous employers, the Veterans Administration, and once before with Catholic Charities. My sister in-law, Ramonita J., who is the Hispanic director for Catholic Charities guided me to your services.
September 3, 2002 was the beginning of my new life.
I was screened by David R., Hispanic Men’s Case Manager, and immediately felt that I was in the right place. David ensured that I received detox and had a place for treatment after detox. I was allowed into the Matt Talbot program where Jerry B. was my counselor. Since then I have over 9 years of sobriety.
When I was being assessed by David, he was talking to me about school and jobs as though nothing was wrong with my life. I remember thinking “why is he asking me about school when my life is so unmanageable?” All I could think of at that time was “if he only knew… I don’t even own a pair of underwear.” His talk has stayed with me; even though I could not see past that moment he did. He saw a life of sobriety for me that I could not see for myself.
Since then, I have obtained an Associate of Arts Degree and an Associate of Science degree from Cuyahoga Community College in the summer of 2011. I am presently enrolled in Cleveland State University School of Engineering. I have maintained continuous employment for 8 1/2 years, first at Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority and now with the Day-Glo Corporation. In September 2011 I was able to purchase a four unit apartment in Cleveland. Now these are wonderful accomplishments and wonderful things, but still the most precious gift is my sobriety. I try to give back by making myself available to others in need, like helping others get counseling, finding a place to get treatment, and being there for others just like Catholic Charities was there for me.
I can’t say enough for the gift that Catholic Charities (and the numerous people who are with your organization) gave me. I would like to say thank you to all who have made sobriety a reality for me. This is my greatest accomplishment and the best gift ever.
-Joseph T., 9 years sober