DENNIS MESSING
MEMORIAL
FOUNDATION

"Today I wake up excited to live, when


before I would have welcomed death."

It was not my plan to seek further treatment. The way it looked for me was that I would be stuck going through the same routine, the same State Funded programs that I had used so many times. I used these places to save my relationships, change the view my family had on me, or to stay out of jail. I would go to these facilities and would have to transform into my environment. Something I hated but felt necessary to be liked by everyone else there. This all seemed pointless to me, but I had court coming up again, my girlfriend was happier without me and I had no job. So what the heck did I have to lose.

At this point, something seemingly impossible happened.  Two women took it upon themselves to start a GOFUNDME account in order to send me to Plymouth, New Hampshire, to a 12 step recovery program.  Through them, Kim Messing of the Dennis Messing Fund was brought into my life.  She put up more than half the money to send me to the program. Without the help of the Dennis Messing Fund, who knows if I’d be alive and writing this today. I was just a hopeless, sad existence of life.

In such a short time, my life looks totally different. Not only have I completed that program, but I have moved on to a Sober Living Home in Portland, Maine.  Somewhere along the way, I became willing to do whatever it takes to become the man I have always wanted to be.  I believed in the people that unselfishly gave their time and money to give me a shot at life again. I decided, finally, to walk through my fears and to go through some uncomfortable things, to take an honest look at the way I thought and acted, the way I treated people, to take a look at the things I had done to make myself feel better. I have started making my amends to the people I have harmed and have become willing to face the consequences that come from my past actions.  I’ve learned that it's okay to be scared as long as I am willing to walk through those fears and not run from them.

-Stephen

    Over the past eight years I have struggled to maintain sobriety.  I could get sober, but I could never stay sober.  I’ve been to many detoxes and state funded programs throughout Massachusetts all which gave me lengths of clean time varying from 10 days to 3 months.  Not one facility gave me what I truly needed, the truth about myself and the disease of addiction and the tools to maintain a healthy purposeful life.  
    This time around things were no different than they had been in the past when I decided to go away to detox.  I had been fired from my job and had nothing left spiritually mentally or physically.  I’m 5’8, and weighed a mere 115lbs. My friends and family were scared for my life, but I was unaware of how terrible I truly looked.  I woke up every day wanting to die.  Life seemed impossible. I felt like I would never overcome this disease.  I was ready to give up.  Having had some sobriety in AA before, I knew where to go.  There was a small faint voice in the back of my head urging me to go back to AA.  For once, I listened to that small voice.  I headed to my old home group where I met some people who truly cared about me and my wellbeing.  Something forced me to ask for help that night and I got it.  The next day, two of my friends from AA were at my apartment helping me get into detox.  They told me the Dennis Messing Memorial Foundation would be willing to help me go to a 12-step program in Plymouth, New Hampshire.  I had heard of this program before and how well people did who were able to get treatment there. I was also aware of the financial cost.  Because of this factor, I never thought it was possible for me as my family would not have been able to pay for that kind of treatment.  I was blown away.  I didn’t know it right away, but my life was about to change forever.
    After completing four weeks at the Plymouth House, so much has changed.  Not only did I stay longer than I intended, but I made the decision to go on to sober living.  With the help and unconditional support of the staff there I was able to look at myself and my actions honestly.  It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but as I learned there, nothing worth having is easy.  It was an intense four weeks to say the least.  My friends and family began to notice the change in the first week.  Their process of taking people through the steps is exactly what I needed.  I needed a solution, and I needed it fast.  Drugs and alcohol had been my solution for so long that without something in place of that, it would have been a lot sooner than later that I would have been right back where I always ended up in the past without it.  Another program if I was lucky.  With the amount of friends I have lost to addiction over the past 2 years I am sure that death was a huge possibility for me.  
    Today I wake up excited to live, when before I would have welcomed death.  I don’t lie to my family, my friends, or my boyfriend.  I work an honest job and have learned to sustain myself in the world.  The way I look at and handle situations is so new, it is almost baffling to me.  I have changed so much and it is evident in my life.  My mother is able to sleep at night, as she is no longer worried about getting a phone call that her daughter has overdosed.  My boyfriend is happy to have me around and the time we spend together is meaningful.  I make every single day count because I know how precious each day is. So many of my friends are no longer here to have the chance that I now have. Being given the opportunity I was given is something I will be forever grateful for.  I only wish every addict or alcoholic could experience what I have.  We no longer have to suffer from this disease. It can be overcome with the help and support of people who have been there, and through the 12-steps.

-Kristen
   

"In a such a short time, my


life looks totally different."