As he stirred in bed, the linoleum floor came alive with the rapid clicking of cockroaches scurrying back into the baseboard. An acrid blend of liquor, opiates and cigarette butts lingered in the air, an inescapable reminder of the night before. Nasty alarm clock, this reality. Trapped in a vicious cycle, here he was again, homeless, broke and addicted. Surviving night after night in a cheap, dirty, infested motel, his family broken, his life had fallen apart. Like a traveler adrift without a compass, he asked himself, “How did I end up here again? How do we get out”?”
Shad had hit bottom. He ached with the memory of 2013 when he and his family were at Open House. That time had been great. There they had found peace and direction. They were all together as they transitioned to their new home. They thought, “Life’s not perfect, but at least we are together.” Or so it seemed. But sometimes the journey is not a straight path, particularly when addictions become a roadblock.
Outside of the shelter, Shad and his wife detoured back to alcohol and drugs. Today he admits that the toxic mixture of substance abuse and codependency sent him into a downward spiral — loss of job, housing, and even custody of their daughter. And it was that day, laying in empty, deafening silence that Shad hit rock bottom.
“I am the Way …”
Shad began to pray that he would hear the voice of GOD again, to find direction. Shad recalls, “It was like GOD said, ‘You know how much you love your wife? How much more do I love you? You know how it feels when she leaves you. Why do you keep leaving me?” Shad realized in his quest for love in his marriage, he had walked away from his “First Love” ~ a loving God. In that moment, Shad surrendered and immediately knew his “true North” had to be to God.
Today, Shad is clean and sober, living on his own in a new supportive community, working, active in his church and regularly visiting his daughter who now is in the care of loving family members. With the help of the Open House case management team, supportive alumni friends from Open House, he went through Detox, joined AA, and found a church community. He has direction again. He starts every day with the Lord – his “true North”, forever grateful for the “moral compass” you gave him that guides him today. His outlook for the future? Put your faith in God and stay the course.