My name is Rob Reynolds, i am 43 and from Martinsburg WV. I spent 17 years there as an addict. I grew up with parents who were addicts . I got into drug dealing around 15 or 16. Was heavy into it by age 16. I drank a lot then and smoked a lot of pot. I was selling around 100 pounds of weed a week. I did that through most of high school.
I graduated from Hedgesville High School in 1993. I was moving on to heavier drugs by then,cocaine and a lot of acid. I stayed out of trouble for the most part ,meaning i never got caught. I had my first daughter in 95 and gave up a lot of the dealing. Then got married in 97. Around 99 i started working in Leesburg doing plumbing ,still drinking and using. I started selling cocaine in large quantities after working with a lot of drug dealers in Va. It wasn't long before i was strung out on cocaine and running out of money and resorting to criminal activity. I was stealing credit cards and maxing them out and then cutting them up ,trading the stuff...
It’s about that time of year!
Leaves are falling, turkeys are freaking out, and Santa Claus is coming to town.
Everyone is looking forward to the holidays, right?
Actually, no. For many of us, the holidays are not times of fun and family but rather painful reminders of broken homes, loved ones who have passed away, and a deep sense of loneliness.
Many things can exasperate these feelings. One of those things is, unfortunately, drug and alcohol addiction. Gathering for the holidays can be yet another remaindered that someone we love is destroying both themselves and our family with their problem.
And year after year, we see them getting worse. Feeling unable to help, we ignore it. But this doesn’t help because it doesn’t go away. Feeling helpless, we give up.
But the hope in all of this is that we don’t have to. There is something we can do.
Understandably, we cannot make the person change. And we cannot force them to get help. But we can certainly...
One of the biggest challenges a person who struggles with addiction will ever experience in early recovery is learning how to live life on life's terms clean and sober. I've shared in previous blogs about what it's like trying to move on after living the street life and overcoming trauma. Chronic fear and heartache used to plague my mind and soul, and it's what kept me out there for so long. Anxiety and depression is usually caused by unprocessed trauma. I've mentioned before the nervous system gets stuck when we don't process our pain and grief. What people need to realize, especially those recovering, is that addictions were but a symptom of what's really taking place on the inside.
When I first began my journey of recovery, it was hard just living your normal everyday life. I had to learn how to fall into normal day to day activities like holding a steady job, a steady home, being a stable mother, grocery shopping, paying bills, etc. What seemed easy for others was a...
I grew up in church. I’m 27 years old. I fell away from church in high school and started getting into worldly things. Drinking, drugs, sex and alcohol. I thought I was living the fun life, staying high and drunk all the time, treating girls like objects instead of the jewels that they are. I had a son when I was 19.
I was so far gone on bath salts, meth, pills, weed, and drinking I didn’t care about anything but chasing that high. On my 20th Birthday, I wanted to die. I was so strung out I was tired of life.
I remember praying for the first time in years that God would change me. Help me become a better person, a better dad for my son, even if that meant jail.
My son was 5 months old at that time and I hardly ever saw him. I just wanted to get high all the time. Not even a month later I was arrested. I overdosed one night and the cops were called and I freaked out when I saw them and spit at them and got 3 felony assault charges. I was a terrible person. I ended up...
As a former atheist and addict, I never thought I would ever be a Christian with over eighteen years of sobriety, much less a Pastor. I also never thought I would serve a life sentence in prison, but that’s exactly what happened to me.
While I was in High School, I drank on the weekends and smoked marijuana occasionally. Then when I went to college, the floodgates of alcoholism and drug addiction opened up. I was getting high and drunk all of the time. During my senior year, I tried cocaine for the first time and was instantly hooked. I couldn’t get enough of it, staying up for days at a time, and losing over forty pounds in the process.
In an effort to support my expensive habit, I started selling drugs. One night, one of my customers tried to rob me at gunpoint. Not wanting to hand over the drugs and money, I opted for grabbing the gun I had on me and started shooting at him instead. After the bullets ran out, I was still alive but he was not. I never thought my...
My name is Megan. I am 32 years old and I am from Amarillo, Texas.
I was molested by a neighbor when I was 8 years old. He got me drunk on pina coladas and he told me they were snocones. I was spending the night over there because his neice was there. I never told anyone.
From that point on I always sought love and acceptance from all the wrong people, places, and things as well as being very rebellious, especially at school.
I got pregnant with Andrew my senior year of high school and dropped out. I got my GED a year later.
I dabbled with drinking, pills, and weed but it was never really a problem.
I met a man and fell in love. While we were together he lost his son to SIDS. He moved away to North Carolina. I found out I was pregnant shortly after but I never told anyone. About 5 or 6 months into that pregnancy I lost the baby, a little boy I named Ezra Blake. I didn't even tell his father that I was pregnant and I didn't because I saw how it destroyed him when he lost one of his...
One of the greatest joys is to get to hear stories of the Alumni of Shenandoah Valley Teen Challenge still serving the Lord several years later.
One of our team members recently was able to catch up with John Arnold, a 2015 graduate and got a few encouraging words from him.
For all of those that support us at SVTC, thank you. These are the testimonies of life transformation that take place because of YOU!!
Alumni Spotlight - John Arnold
“For most of my teenage years and beyond I bought into anything the world had to offer.
I thought that with the right amount/combination of drugs, the right job, the right amount of money, living in the right city, the right relationship, the right friends etc. would give me happiness.
I searched for that combination for almost 10 years and never found it.
I remember my mom coming to visit me one weekend and just completely breaking down.
I had been trying for so many years to keep it together but couldn’t...
Imagine being in the trenches of war for years then suddenly finding yourself back at home in the comforts of your own living room.
What would you do? Relax, breathe, recalibrate, do things you enjoy?
If you’ve been in the up and down battle of helping an addict through and addiction, then you can relate to war. It’s tiring. Stressful. Difficult. And at times, unbearable.
If, however, the addict has gone to a rehab like Adult and Teen Challenge, it’s as if you are back in the comforts of your own home. Instead of the daily battle, you are able to rest, refresh, restart, and renew.
And honestly, the addict is not the only one who needs healing in this situation. You do too. And now that the person is in rehab, you finally have the change to do that.
The question, however, is how?
What can be done to fix all the damage while the person I love is away getting help?
There are actually 3 ways to find healing for yourself and to prepare you for what lies ahead.
Have you ever been blamed for someone’s decision to abuse drugs or alcohol?
Perhaps the all too familiar you made me do it is something you’ve heard a time or two.
The truth of the matter is that you are not, and should never be, responsible for another person’s decisions.
To deal with this sort of backlash, we must first understand it for the 3 things it really is.
An addict always wants a second chance. Another night to stay. One more dollar to spare. And if they can convince you that you’re the reason they relapsed, you are much more likely to give in to their demands. Why? Because it’s your fault so you should compensate for your fault in the matter, right?
Of course not. But that’s what they are hoping to make you feel.
Nobody wants to admit that they are the reason something went wrong. Car accidents are always the other driver’s fault. Bad grades are the teacher’s fault. And the cycle continues.
It’s always easy for someone to tell someone else what they’d do in their situation. Especially when they aren’t in the situation themselves.
The all too familiar, If I were you I would…, is common in these scenarios.
But honestly, if they were us they don’t have a clue what they would do.
And that’s why they don’t understand that we love someone who struggles through an addiction.
Sure, the addict hurts us time and time again. We forgive them. They do it again. All the while, our friends and family witness the cycle and wonder whether we’ve lost our minds or not.
They tell us to quit, to move on, and to stop living in this situation. Our friends tell us the case is hopeless and that the addict will never change. Our family says we should stop allowing this person to hurt us so much.
And all of them tell us we’re crazy.
But the truth is that we aren’t crazy. We just believe in some things that seem crazy from the outside...