Recently I decided to visit Hope is Alive’s DFW Men’s Home in order to capture some moments from their traditional Sunday Night meeting. As a member of the HIA Media Team, this is something that has become a pretty common occurrence in my world. Visit a home, take some rad pictures, share a few laughs, and then head back to OKC. This visit, however, would turn out very differently, and in the best way possible. As I was driving to DFW I called the DFW Program Manager, Brett Mills, and asked if any of the residents in the home might be interested in sitting down with me to discuss their journey from addiction to Hope is Alive. I thought it could be a fun new way of getting to know the guys and perhaps share their stories with those who were still struggling with addiction. Although truth be told, I wasn’t exactly sure how this process would go. As someone who remembers what it was like being 3-4 months into this journey, I knew that just walking up with a video camera and saying “so tell me your story dude” probably wouldn’t be the best course of action.
Once I arrived, I was introduced to Trevor. I was told that he had been in the home for about four months and that he had quite the story. We went on the back patio and he basically just jumped right into it. “So I have been to treatment 15 times,” he said. “But up until this last time it was either for other people or court ordered. I would either be out of money or have my family on my back or be in trouble with law, and I just thought if I went to treatment I could get everyone off my back and also get all my stuff back. But every time I would just end up using again and lose everything all over again because I was never doing it for me.” Trevor then told me what led to him finally choosing to get the necessary help he needed to get clean and sober. Originally from New Mexico, he had found his way to sunny Los Angeles, and that’s when things took a turn. “I ended up in some place that I thought was a hospital, but it didn’t have any nurses or doctors. I had four massive seizures before they finally called the paramedics.” At this point, Trevor was finally taken to a hospital, but his family wasn’t even aware of his current status. “My family didn’t even know I was in the hospital. I ended up having to learn how to walk and talk again. By the time I got out of that situation and into a real detox facility, there was no fighting left in me. I was ready to listen to other people who were trying to help. I said yes to treatment and when I heard about Hope is Alive being an option after that I said yes again. I was really just saying yes to everything I would normally say no to.” The hairs on my arm were standing up at this point. Trevor went on to share that he had really exhausted every other avenue of options at this point. But one thought kept coming back to him. “I knew I didn’t want to die, but I also knew that I didn’t want to keep on living this way.”
It turns out that while Trevor was going through this horrific experience in LA, his Mother was given a copy of the book “Hope is Alive” written by HIA Founder Lance Lang. “She didn’t even know what was going on with me in the hospital at that time. She was just reading this book and ended up getting in contact with HIA to see how she could get me into the program.” After speaking with some of the staff at HIA, they were able to get Trevor into a treatment facility in Texas, which would then bring him to the DFW Home. “It was crazy. As soon as I called her for help, she had already been working on getting me into the program.”
Coming up on being in the HIA Program for about four months, Trevor said the experience has been unlike anything he has ever experienced. “It’s unlike anything. I’ve been in sober living before where I was miserable the whole time, just going through the motions.” He also mentioned how quickly he felt at home once he arrived. “This is the only place I have ever been where there was no warming up to the guys period. It just clicked right away. They were giving me rides, and taking me out to eat, and it just felt like family right away. There was never a feeling of not fitting in. And since that day, we do everything together. We work out together and go to the same church, anything I do is with the guys from our home.” Trevor also mentioned that the accountability among the men really has been a difference maker for him. “We all just want the best for each other. Everyone is ready to hold each other accountable for their actions. We all understand why we are here and just want to make the best out of it.”
Trevor and I chatted for a little bit longer and swapped stories about what it’s like to be new in recovery, but then he said something that really capped off our conversation in the best way possible. “I haven’t had a home in a long time. It just feels complete.”