Stories of Hope

Real Testimonials of Courage & Recovery at Credo

“I am optimistic and determined. I have hope!”

I started experimenting with alcohol at a young age. By the time I was 17, I was using hard drugs. I had fallen in love with the rush that shooting heroin gave me. At the time, I would blame my neglectful parents and abusive boyfriend, and so on. In reality, I have learned that I am the only one to blame, as I made the choice to use drugs myself. I chased a fast-paced, legal defying lifestyle. I single handedly destroyed everything that ever meant anything to me. When my addiction progressed I robbed a gas station, leading to a list of felonies. I was arrested and thrown in jail, experiencing the worst withdrawal one could imagine.

I have heard that God only gives us what we can handle. He must have thought pretty highly of me to carry me through those times. I am now clean and sober for 8 months and have been at Credo Women’s Residence for 6 months. Though it has been only a few short months, I have lived more life in these last 6 months than I have in years. I am truly grateful for the opportunities I have been given here. I am no longer ashamed of my past, but I’m also not proud. It was simply the journey that brought me to this spot in life. I am now the person that defines me by my current daily choices, not what I did in the past. I was lost for a long time.

Thank you, Credo, for this second chance and this journey of self-discovery. You saved my life. I am happy to say that when I do graduate from Credo I will leave with my GED. I will leave a healthy mother, a supportive daughter, a role-modeling sister and a caring friend. I am optimistic and determined. I have hope! I would like to give a special thanks to all of the staff and peers at Credo. Thank you. I’d like to thank Meghan Clement for helping me find my self-respect and April Beamer-Breen for being my personal “Buddha.” You all have given more than you will ever know.

“This is the beginning of my new life.”

My name is Ian M. and I am temporarily living in the Washington Street halfway house. I came here on my own after completing an ATC rehab. My life became unmanageable due to alcohol and drugs which started when I was 14 years old and now at age 38, I am in treatment for the first time in my life after hitting rock bottom. My drug use started at age 14 when I began drinking and smoking weed which progressed to Acid and smoking wet PCP. At that time I was locked up at age 14 and did two years in Juvenile Max Security and remained on probation until age 18.

At age 18 I met my girlfriend, had two children, I worked for 15 years in maintenance, the whole time drinking and drugging. I got fired for a positive drug test, lost my home and my children’s home. I was prescribed high doses of fentanyl and OxyContin for a back injury. I moved from Pennsylvania to New York to get away from drugs and was put on Suboxone. My life went further downhill, my children and their mother moved out and soon after I was homeless sleeping on the streets.

This made me say enough; I went to rehab and decided that was not enough so I decided to come to the Credo halfway house. Since I came here I have regained my life, my respect and have put honesty back in my life. This program is the best thing that could happen, I now go to school, see my children and remain sober. This is the beginning of my new life, every day I wake up [and] thank God and this program. I would probably not be alive and have to thank Credo for saving my life. I wake up sober with a home and with people that care about me.

“Every day I will have to work on my recovery.”

I’ve been struggling with addiction for 10 years. I didn’t think I had a problem until I lost custody of my daughter and still continued to use. I never thought I could love drugs more than my children, but while I was actively using I couldn’t love anything but drugs. I lied, stole and cheated my way through everything. I hated the mother I was, the friend I was, the sister and daughter I was. I never thought I could have what others had, a home, a family, a career. I didn’t think I deserved any of it. I didn’t believe in myself and I wanted to give up.

I currently reside at the Credo Women’s Intensive Residence. When I got to the house in March 2014, I was 8 weeks pregnant and had very little hope. This was the last place I wanted to be. That little bit of hope and then the Credo staff got me where I am today. Going through this program had been the hardest thing I’ve done. I’ve had to work on myself and trust others. I had felt weak and vulnerable; I know it’s not going to end here.

I’m now starting to transition from the house back into the community. This is where the real work comes. Every day I will have to work on my recovery. I have to put everything I’ve learned and done into play. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to come here and get another chance at life. I know I will always be able to come back and visit. The Credo house will always be my first real home and everyone in it will always be family.

“The possibilities are endless.”

Hello, my name is Josh. I’m a heroin addict. I’m not using but I know I will always be an addict. I never thought I was an addict until I decided to get treatment and start working on a program. In my many years of addiction I took for granted everything in my life. I hurt the people closest to me. I pushed everyone away so I could do what addicts do best.

Through my treatment and working a program, I’ve learned a lot about this disease and a lot about myself. I learned that I am not the bad person I thought I was, I just made bad decisions because my mind was clouded by drugs. My life is so much better and enjoyable since I’ve made the decision to change my life and turn my will over to my higher power. I have so much to be grateful for these days. A few short months ago, I didn’t care whether I lived or died. I thought I was going to end up a worthless junkie.

Now I am so happy to be alive, living a clean and sober life. I am also grateful to have such a great support network from my family, the staff at the community residence where I live and my outpatient counselors. Through the self-help meetings that I attend, I’ve made a lot of new friends that I can count on for support. I took their suggestions and got a sponsor, got a service position and feel this has helped me immensely. Once you make the decision to change your life the possibilities are endless.

“I can honestly say that I am happy.”

I went through the Farm in 2013 for my addiction to heroin. Going through the Farm was probably the hardest thing that I have ever been through. I was at the Farm for seven and a half months and then went to the Credo Men’s Residence where I continued my recovery until I was one year and two months into my sobriety and ended up relapsing. I cannot explain the thoughts that were going through my head nor can I pinpoint the cause of my relapse, but it happened and I could not believe this nightmare was happening again.

I ended up failing a drug test and I was given the opportunity to return to the Farm for a few months. At first, I looked at this opportunity as a punishment, but I was wrong; this was a blessing in disguise. So, I ended up returning to the Farm for around two months. It was very hard to go back there because I was scared of what my family, counselors, friends and my girlfriend would think or do, but I knew it was best for me. I thought of the worst things that could happen, but surprisingly, they supported me faithfully. The 7 Challenges has been implemented at the Farm and it made me look at myself in a different way with a different approach than the first time through the Farm.

I am responsible for my choices and, hopefully, my choices will be healthy ones. I cannot express my gratitude to Credo and what they have done for me and the chances they have given me for a better life. I don’t know where I would be without this program and the staff members. I look at life in a totally different way now and for the first time since I was 14 years old, I can honestly say that I am happy.

“Recovery is my first priority.”

Being in recovery, to me, means a second chance at life. In early November of 2013, I had a near-fatal heroin overdose. I had to step back and take a clear look at where I was going and where I wanted to be in my life. I always thought I had recovery under control. Will power alone gave me eight years of what I thought was clean time. It wasn’t. I never worked a program and always put others before myself. It simply amazes me that I didn’t relapse sooner than I did. But, like an un-oiled chain on a bicycle, I was bound to rust.

In the past, I was always resistant to the Men’s Community Residence and treatment. This time I was not. I came to recognize that after my stay in a long term rehab, I needed this time to get a strong foundation in recovery and figure out who I really am as a person. Being in the Men’s Community Residence has given me a chance to finally focus on myself. The rest of my life will fall into place and being able to put myself first is what this process is all about to me.

Recovery is my first priority today and I am extremely grateful to be with other people who know what I am going through and feel the same way.

“I am a productive member of society.”

About six years ago my life took a turn for the worst. I began using and selling drugs with a mindset that I was untouchable. Boy was I wrong! After getting in trouble the first time, the second, the third, the fourth and the fifth time became second nature, which is NOT okay!

I have been homeless, hospitalized for overdosing, a danger to myself and others, was skin and bones, the other girl, a bad daughter, a menace to society, and a person who once lived to use and used to live. On April 17, 2013, I entered the Credo Women’s Intensive Residence and (at the time) only so I didn’t have to go to prison. I still wanted to get high and have my old friends. No one was going to tell me different. My attitude was poor and I resented Credo, Drug Court, my family and most of all, myself. I thought I was okay to rob, use drugs and hurt others. I cannot express the gratitude I now have for Credo and the Women’s Residence.

At my lowest of lows, April, Kim and Meghan (counselors) kept saying “Brittany, this will be worth it in the end.” I never in my wildest dreams thought I would have the type of life I have today. I have built relationships with my family I hadn’t spoken to in years. I have a great job. I am a productive member of society. I give back, live independently in a nice apartment, and have handfuls of REAL sober support. The best part is, I can always count on going back to visit the Women’s Residence and remain part of their home. I will never forget where I came from, because when I do, I go right back to the person I don’t ever want to be again. With my willingness and Credo pushing me to fight my demons, face my past, and want a better life, today I am happy and enjoy waking up every day. Thank you for my new productive, AWESOME LIFE!