Getting diagnosed with an astrocytoma brain tumor when I was 6 changed my life. It wasn’t so much the tumor itself that changed me, but surviving it did. Even at that young age, life started to feel a little more precious and urgent.
As I grew older, I was totally focused on whatever the next thrill was – snowboarding, roller blading, whatever I could find to get my adrenaline going. Every day, I took everything to the extreme. I lived only for the thrill, only for me. I was completely selfish and self-centered.
When I got married at 23, my selfishness destroyed our relationship. I could never see what she needed from me, like comfort, tenderness or affection. Nevertheless, we started a family. But eventually, she had enough and divorced me.
I was devastated and started drinking – a lot. I spent 20 years drinking those gallon-sized bottles of liquor.
“I had to change or die.”
In 2018, I fell into homelessness, living in a park. Every night, I got so drunk, I never knew where I’d wake up.
Last year, I’d finally had enough. I was a grandfather now and I didn’t want to miss out on their lives. I’d also done terrible damage to my liver. I had to change or die, but I couldn’t do it alone. I needed the Lord, so I came to the Bay Area Rescue Mission.
It was good to finally eat healthy meals and sleep in a safe bed. But most of all, I listened to the Lord and let Him, the counselors and the chaplains help me face my selfishness and learn to live for others. I’m already teaching my granddaughter about Jesus, and I also serve as a big brother to a student here. I’m now planning to go into drug and alcohol counseling – I have so much compassion for people now.
I’m so thankful for the Bay Area Rescue Mission and supporters like you for showing me the Lord and changing my life.
To read this issue of Bay Area Hope, click here.
Help other people like Keith…
Keith’s story of hope and healing is inspiring. Our long-term recovery programs exist to help other men and women find healing. Will you help provide this help to others?