I moved into Fred Brown sober living after completing an inpatient program. After a troubled youth involving being shot in gang violence and becoming a father as a teen, I took a path offered to me as alternative sentencing to more jail time. Through Narcotics Anonymous, residential rehab, and learning to work an honest recovery program, I turned around my life so dramatically I wanted to help others do the same thing. Living in Fred Brown’s sober living gave me the foundation to pursue an education and career as a Substance Use Disorder Counselor, and I was later blessed to become a part of the Fred Brown Recovery family as staff.
By age 19 I had two children, by 21 I had three. Along the way I had been shot, been in and out of juvenile hall and county jail, had obtained my GED while in jail, but struggled in the grips of my addiction to drugs. At one time my children all lived with me, and I managed to raise them in a Long Beach apartment on food stamps, general relief, and money left to me by my grandfather. By 23 the children’s mother regained custody and took out a protective order against me, and I soon became homeless, couch surfing with friends and staying in cars, lost in my addiction and feeling no purpose in life. While supporting my habit through illegal gambling, I was arrested. This time, however, I was given the choice of 4 ½ years in county jail or accepting entry into a drug program at Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse (LACADA). I accepted the help, and went to the Allen House, a residential rehab with a focus on behavior modification. There I learned new ways, through rules and regulations, through counseling, a treatment plan, and group therapy. I was released and then moved to Fred Brown sober living.
I have been given a gift that money could never buy. I am now somebody my family is proud of and through my living amends I honor my mom’s life, who passed away December 24th, 2019. My living amends honor the memory and sacrifice she made to make my life possible. Her unconditional love is what gave me hope when I didn’t believe I had it. I now live life believing that I can do the right thing, accept personal responsibilities, and continue to live life clean and sober. Life may not get easier, but it does get better, as long as you continue the path of recovery. Thanks to the prayers of my mom, the grace of god, LACADA and the Allen House, and Fred Brown Recovery Service, I am able to walk this path and live life clean and sober and with honor.
God is good…all the time.