A look back at my life brings me to one conclusion – God has done for me what I could not do for myself through His guidance and other people’s prayers, help, actions and suggestions.
I was raised in a loving, church-going family and taught good values and the right way of life by caring parents. They encouraged me to trust God, be honest, love others and work hard. As a child, I dreamed of growing up to work in a family business. This soon came true, then vanished as quickly as it arrived.
My father’s death started me down a path of daily self-medication at the age of 15. At the time, I thought I was just a teenager having fun with a life of partying and friends. In reality, it was the beginning of life-changing consequences for me and my family.
I graduated from high school and then trade school and began working in a family business as a laborer part-time at the age of 14, then full-time employment when I was 20. I married a single mother with a 10-year-old son at 23. My own family life had begun. By the age of 33, I had become a Vice President of a successful family business due to the values I had been taught as a child, and success had taken a greater focus and priority.
Yet, before I realized it, that daily self-medication crept in and became the main focus and main priority of my life. Self-centeredness absorbed me and forever altered my family’s life.
By the age of 38, I had left the family business, failed as a bar owner, became a drug dealer with over six figures in debt, cheated on my wife, destroyed our family, separated, and been arrested about nine times.
Through the process of finding a lawyer to keep me out of jail and fearing what the future held for me, I met two men who would soon change my life – James Brewer and Robert Kirkland. Mr. Brewer became one of my defense attorneys and a dear friend. Mr. Kirkland worked for a treatment center and would soon help change my life forever.
During this time, it was suggested I go to a drug and alcohol treatment center. I didn’t see it, but this was the beginning of a path back to the good life I had been taught as a child.
For me, recovery took exposure to the right people and repeated trips to a treatment center and jail until I was ready to change. My path has been largely influenced by participating in the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous and clearly mapped out by God through the insight of others.
My final trip to a treatment center was followed by transitional living in a halfway house – a recovery house – living with a sponsor and having repeated exposure to a sober environment, while also helping others.
In my twelve plus years of sobriety, I have been given the opportunity to be of service to others. In following the right path and its opportunities, I have been able to restore my life, regain a useful place in society, clear all my debts financially, and rebuild a life with a family that loves me. I am happily remarried and living a life beyond my wildest dreams.
Two years ago, Mike Kennedy and I co-founded a recovery house in Mechanicsburg, PA. The Simpson Ferry House has grown into a safe and successful place for men in recovery to live and continue their path and transition into sober living. (We modeled our sober home after Tim Weber’s sober homes in Westminster, MD.)
Rarely do we have a bed available at The Simpson Ferry House, so the discussion began about opening a second house. The result was the birth of Kennedy Addiction Recovery Center.
As Mike and I thought about what this new center would be, my friend, Tim Weber, was the first person who came to mind. Mike agreed that Tim had the experience and passion we needed to make this vision a reality. Little did we know that Tim had also been dreaming of starting a treatment center for some time.
Kennedy Addiction Recovery Center began as a thought, a dream. Today it makes a difference that matters, saves lives and gives hope to those suffering from the disease of addiction.