A World of Second Chances

a_god_of_second_chances_mediumSecond chances in life are tough to come by. We all have one life to live, and while it is ours to do what we desire, we sometimes make mistakes or go down a path that can be destructive to ourselves and to the people we love. It can happen to anyone. For some, hitting rock bottom is precisely what a person needs to begin searching for that second start. Thankfully, there are institutions that have been built to provide just that: a supportive shelter for those who seek a new life.

Our year-long 12-step program provides housing for men who have taken the admirable step towards bettering themselves. Throughout the process, participants are required to find and maintain a full-time job. Fresh Start champions the process of “regeneration,” and their staff is committed to helping these men restart their lives from the inside out. In doing so, they aid in fixing the men’s health, financial woes, and personal relationships that might have suffered. Men are required to live on the premises for the full year, and if at any point they relapse, they are asked to leave. At Fresh Start Ministries, a commitment to the process is of the utmost importance.

The program is divided up into four phases. Phase 1 is all about drug and alcohol abuse, so clients are informed of the risks involved. Phase 2 is tailored to the client, and involve the construction of a recovery plan. Phase 3 advocates the use of religion to improve self and relations, and Phase 4 focuses on what happens after the client leaves, such as the steps they’ll need to take to maintain their new-found health.

The three major stages toward recovery that Fresh Start advocates are detoxification, rehabilitation, and confrontation. In detoxification, the body is cleansed of chemical substances. Then, in rehabilitation, the newly-clean body is maintained with good health habits, such as dietary changes and fitness. Finally, in the confrontation process, counselors at Fresh Start come face to face with clients and encourage them to see the toll their former life took on everything around them. Clients are forced to confront the people they hurt, and ask themselves what drove them to their addictions in the first place.

For men in need of a new beginning, of that second chance, we offer an excellent refuge. Our center provides a supportive and positive environment and grants these men an opportunity of a lifetime. In just one year’s time, clients can find a life more extraordinary, a chance no one should ever be denied.

Men, You Are Making a Difference: One Woman’s Story

man pressing a button on the screen over a white backgroundTwo young people met and fell in love. Every weekend they went out drinking and had a good time. When the wife became pregnant she thought the weekend binges would stop. After all, he should be focused on providing for his new family, she thought. He continued excessively drinking….for years. The kids continued to grow up and watch the anger and isolation of their parents. Finally, he admitted to being an alcoholic, went into treatment, and came out a new man. Life was finally going to be better! However, the angry outbursts, the criticism, the verbal abuse….none of that stopped. He was never wrong. She was never right. Does this sound familiar?

The family longs for happiness and security. The father knows it’s his fault while the family begins to wonder if they are the reason for his drinking. (The “big book” refers to the father as the addict. According to a Harvard study Addiction in Women men were twice as likely to be affected by addiction than women.) While struggling with substances the addict can be irritable, angry, violent and abusive, melancholy, or apathetic. Verbal and emotional abuse are just as damaging to the family’s health as physical abuse.

Finally, the children grow up. Carrying the emotional scars with them, they begin to abuse substances to mask their pain. Without help and intervention this pattern can carry on. The entire family suffers socially, psychologically, emotionally, and physically because of substance abuse. Men, you are making a difference. To generations. Is it the difference you want to make? We all have a choice between making a negative difference or a positive difference!

The “big book” from Alcoholics Anonymous quotes: “Cessation of drinking is but the first step away from a highly strained, abnormal condition. A doctor said to us, “Years of living with an alcoholic is almost sure to make a wife or child neurotic. The entire family is, to some extent, ill.”” It couldn’t be more aptly stated that alcoholism or addiction to any substance, for that matter, affect everyone around the addict. Men, You Are Making a Difference: One Woman’s Story (355 words)