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*Michael's Story

*Michael's Story

"I had a stable childhood, but as a young boy, I struggled with anger. As I got older, I felt inadequate and looked for acceptance and belonging in all the wrong places.

“At the age of 12 I had my first cigarette and my first taste of drugs; marijuana. I started drinking alcohol, and that was my journey for the next seven years. It escalated at times into crime. I spent time in court and in the watch house.

“ My life spun out of control from the get-go. My parents didn’t know what to do with me. They tried everything they could to discipline and correct me, and there were many times when Dad and Mum had to ask me to move out of home because I was out of control.

“My life spiralled into a series of life-threatening incidents.  I had so many near-misses while driving. I was self-harming and was always in search of the next high. I knew I needed help.

“My family had helped me detox but  I hadn’t faced the deeper issues behind what was driving my addiction. Each time I stopped using drugs or alcohol, I found myself drawn slowly back into a life of drug use and abusive relationships.

“ I got to the point where I wanted to end my life. I felt so empty and dry that I didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t feel anything. I got a timely phone call from an old friend at church… it saved my life, and she encouraged me to try Teen Challenge (TC). This was the beginning of my recovery, but it was not an easy path.

“Before I came to TC I was fully in the grip of addiction. My family relationships had broken down, I felt aimless and empty. I felt dead inside.

“My journey at Teen Challenge was tough. It was challenging, especially the first bit. I felt sorry for myself and was slightly annoyed that I wasn’t where I wanted to be. But I got a second chance at life because of TC.  I slowly changed from the inside out.

“The thing about addiction is that you lose your ability to enjoy the beauty of the world. But at TC I got the knowledge and tools to reset, to forgive myself and to seek forgiveness from those I love.

“My life was transformed. I do believe that the power of addiction can be broken. I went from strength to strength in all areas of my life. I addressed my fitness, my health, my mind and my soul.

“ I completed an internship at Teen Challenge, did further training and worked as a chaplain in a school.  I am now  working full time (in another role),  and I recently got a promotion. It is  stretching (in a good way!). I am really enjoying it.

“If you are looking for recovery, just do it. Don’t hesitate because your life is worth much more than you think it is. I’ve lived it; I’ve gone through it,  the Teen Challenge program works if you do the work!”

None of this would be possible without TC’s supporters…. Thank you.

*Name and image changed to protect privacy

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