Stories

Rick

…enjoys fishing even if he doesn’t catch a thing; just being out on the water with the sun shining is pleasurable enough for him. He has enjoyed fishing since he was a young boy growing up in West Chester.

Unfortunately, in his early teens he traded in his fishing pole for drugs and alcohol. After three DUI’s and a few misdemeanors, he found himself at the Gateway House.

Although he was initially reluctant about going to the Gateway House, his uncertainties were put aside by the welcoming attitudes he experienced there. However, Rick had a more difficult time adjusting to life at Gateway than most residents because he was going through cocaine withdrawal.

Rick said “at the beginning of my stay I was really taken with the way John (the manager of Gateway House) reached out and helped me through my depression.”

The Gateway House has also helped Rick to deal with problems in his life beyond the drugs and alcohol. Before coming to the Gateway House, Rick ran away from his problems, but now he has developed the tools for handling them. From time to time, Rick still gets an urge to retreat to his old ways. However, remembering his life at rock bottom and recalling the consequences of his actions helps him to overcome his temptations. Rick also has the support of the entire Gateway House if his temptations become too powerful.

If you don’t see Rick at the Gateway House, more than likely it’s because the sun is shining and he’s gone fishing.

Sam

…grew up in Cincinnati and began using alcohol, LSD, and cocaine at the age of 16.

After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to clean up his act he put his reluctance aside and decided to go for a fresh start at the Gateway House.

At first Sam didn’t like or agree with many of the rules that Gateway has for its residents. However, he realized that the rules “do serve a purpose and you have to respect that.”

Those rules have kept Sam sober for 20 months and counting. Sam remembers how everyone at Gateway put him at ease and helped him fit right in when he was the new guy.

Although Sam is now on his own he is still a familiar face with current residents. He still attends meetings every week and is involved with the fellowship at Gateway. Sam works closely with the director of Gateway to find out what is needed and can be useful to the guys at the house. Sam then goes out to local organization to get those items donated or finds them at bargain prices.

He recently got a fraternity to donate mattresses for every room in the house and is always getting food and clothes supplied for everyone.

He goes to yard sales looking for decorative items that will help make everyone’s stay a little bit easier and a little bit more enjoyable. Sam is also willing to help out the guys by driving them to the grocery store or to see their kids and encourages others with his story.

Currently, He is planning activities and outings to bring everyone in the house closer together. Sam says he does this because “Gateway gave me a fresh start and I do what I can to give others the same.” Now at the age of 38 Sam is a supervisor for a staffing agency and is helping other people find jobs.

His family is very proud of his sobriety and understands that it is something you live with and not something you can just quit.

Dennis

…was introduced to alcohol by his friends when he was 13 years old. Soon after, he started using marijuana, PCP, and LSD.

Dennis’s social drug habits slowly evolved into an addiction, and the drugs began to control his life.

By the age of 16, he had resorted to criminal activities to support his drug and alcohol habits.

Once Dennis turned 18 and was no longer considered a juvenile, he stood before a judge who gave him the choice to serve time in jail or to serve time in the army.

Dennis chose the latter, stayed clean, and served his country well. After being discharged, Dennis unfortunately resumed his old habits and was sent to prison. Dennis came to Gateway from Columbus, Ohio after being paroled in 2001. At first, Dennis was skeptical of Gateway and the structure that it lays out for its residents. However, Dennis soon found out that the stability helped him “stay sober longer than ever before.”

By attending meetings daily, Dennis exceeds Gateway’s minimum requirement of attendance at five meeting per week. To stay productive Dennis also volunteers at the V.A. hospital throughout the week.

If his service work and active life are not deterrents enough to keep his mind off of drugs and alcohol, Dennis is comforted by the fact that Gateway also provides “a great support system whenever you’re tempted to start using again.”

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