Peter grew up in Northern Ireland, where one thing was the cultural norm: drinking. Before he was even 10 years old, Peter would drink a Shandy (beer diluted with lemonade). He moved to the states in his early twenties and maintained a comfortable life. “They call it a higher functioning alcoholism,” he says, “where you protect your work… and you let everything else sort of go away.” As a result, Peter’s relationships with his wife, children and friends were crumbling, but it took awhile for Peter to notice. “All those years, I had this funny sense of normal. I work, I drink, I work, I drink…” Eventually his health started to deteriorate too. Peter’s son worked at the Mission and suggested he go to the Addictions Crisis Center—a triage for those battling substance abuse. There, he found that, in addition to alcoholism, Peter was suffering from mental exhaustion. A nurse read him Proverbs 24:16, a verse about falling seven times and rising again. “That gave me a lot of peace, and I started to seriously think, ‘Maybe I needed a little bit more help,’” he explains. Peter wanted to join a spiritually based program that would make him feel safe and close to his family. He found all of that at the Mission.
In our program, by learning life skills, overcoming his addictions and rebuilding his relationships, Peter has thrived. Peter can see the worth of the Mission. “There is an opportunity here for folks to get their lives back together again, and not be a burden on society. There’s so much good here… helping people leave a positive impact in the community.” With a heart of thanksgiving, Peter moves forward into a new life. “I’m recently discovering who I am, and the whole foundation for that was the slow, steady peaceful time that I had here.”