Contemplating Life, While Wearing an Orange Jumpsuit

It’s that time again; the announcement of the resident of the month! The resident of the month for September is the one and only Thomas Stafford II. Tommy, as I like to call him, has grown leaps and bounds since moving into our program. It’s been a joy to watch him immerse himself in his recovery and become a leader in his respective Hope is Alive Mentoring Home. I’ll let Tommy tell you in his words how he got to this point in his recovery.

What was the toughest part about entering into recovery?

Honestly, the toughest part about beginning the journey of recovery for me, was accepting the fact that it wasn’t just about putting down my pain pills. If I truly wanted to live the life that I dreamed of having, that meant that I wasn’t able to use any substance that altered the way that I felt. Which includes alcohol.

Did something happen that pushed you into recovery?

I was just sitting around one day contemplating my life, while wearing an orange jumpsuit, and I just couldn’t believe all the damage that I had created for myself. I knew that I had a problem and needed help. However, it took sitting in jail before I was willing to take any actions that were required to really improve the quality of my future.

How did you find Hope is Alive?

While attending Rob’s Ranch, I was fortunate enough to be able to meet Lance Lang and hear him speak. In reality, Hope is Alive found me.

Since moving into the HIA Mentoring Homes what have you been asked to do that has challenged you and helped you grow?

Lance asked me to once again believe that I truly deserved and was meant for a better life. He also reminded me that it was okay to have hopes and dreams that might be hard to reach. As long as I plan out goals along the way that are; specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and trackable, anything is possible.

How much different is your life today from when you were using?

My life is completely different today versus being in the height of my addiction. I now have hope for the future.

How does it feel to look at your life today?

It’s fun living life today. Don’t get me wrong. My life isn’t perfect, but that’s okay. If today was perfect, there would be no need for tomorrow.

What would you say to those people who support the work of HIA?

I really just want to say thank you. I know that when I wear my HIA shirt out I meet some of the best people. I remember I was pumping gas one night, and I happened to be wearing my HIA shirt.  A gentleman came up to me and asked if I knew Lance. We talked for thirty minutes about how HIA changed his life by giving him his son back. That wouldn’t be possible with out everyone that helps support this program and all that it does.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I would just like to thank Lance for seeing potential in me and taking a chance on me.  He is a great mentor and I am constantly amazed by his patience.  To our program manager Zach Schemmer for all the time he spends giving back and helping others. He truly is a great leader. To my house manager Dylan Gibson for everything that he does. He keeps our house in line. To Blake Wieland for recommending HIA’s program to me, and for everyone else in the HIA program. The friendships and the brotherhood is what makes this program really special.

Tommy, we are super grateful that you are apart of Hope is Alive. You epitomize the hard work, willingness and next level life change that we are all about! I can’t wait to see what these next few months have in store for you and the lives you will impact through your story. We love you Tommy!

Much Love,

-Zach S. (HIA Mens Program Manager)

Note: If you’d like to actively engage in supporting the LIFE CHANGING work of HIA & be apart of stories like Thomas’, click here to get started!

1 Comment

  1. Dionne Stafford on October 24, 2016 at 4:06 am

    Thanks for helping bring my son back to us! I have missed his smile, his laugh and his razor sharp wit. Thank you, Thank you!

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