Will we add another name to the homeless fallen list for this years Homeless Memorial Day? Or The Pain in the Recovery / Relapse Cycle of Alcoholism (or drug addictions)

The Pain in the Recovery / Relapse Cycle of Alcoholism (or drug addictions)

Last night in Savannah (12/10/10) after I had attended a gala work
potluck luncheon I felt all good inside about the opportunities that were created at that event for me & others there but then I came back to the real world.

It was with a slap in the face that I was brought back into the life
of a struggling Soul.

In a few short days (11 to be exact) we will be recognizing Homeless
Memorial Day. Right now I am just praying we don’t have another name
to add this year’s list of the fallen.

You see I could tell you the whole story but there is confidentiality
to consider. So I must generalize – I can’t use his name or give you
enough details to guess whom I am talking about for he has rights & I
have responsibilities to try to make sure that he & others like him
(or a her for that matter) have enough of their stories told to change
this system we hate so that we don’t lose another precious life to
this pain of recovery & relapse.

For this is not the first of these stories from just this year. We
have already lost the life of a homeless person on the streets this
year (2010) to this devil of alcohol.

Side note: this same situation exists for drug addictions & mental
health as well!

Are you outraged? Do you care?

I am & I do!!

When will it be enough?

I as an advocate for homeless can’t just sit by & do or say nothing
any longer!

People know the problem – they’ve seen it before – they’ve dealt with
it before – but it’s back – it never left!

You see I want you to have an image in your head tonight when you lay
your head on your nice warm pillow.

That image is of a young man walking up to a place he has been before
where he remembers a time when he had been on a road to recovery. It
is cold tonight (not quite as cold as it has been this week) & with impending
rain in the air. Imagine he has a thread of hope that this place will
once again be his home & that he remembers what it was like before to
be sober & be on the road to a better life.

But because he is obviously drunk & knows it, not denying he has once
again fallen (you see we know for a fact that he had gotten out of
Jail one time before after he had left here the first time & gotten
help for his problem since he was in his right mind, fully detoxed &
having had time in jail to plan for what he would do with his sober
freedom) but now faced with no options other than to go out on the
street again, possibly hoping that he gets picked up by the police again to go back through this cycle again.

Is that all we’re capable of as a society? Is that all we think we can do?

I know the answer is NO to both of these questions but for the people
& programs that are gearing up to do something let’s take a look at
this issue & proactively make sure we don’t add another young man or
woman to the list of the fallen homeless that we read every year at
our Homeless Memorial Day event!

Society often ignores these issues & hopes somebody will just make it
go away or not put the issue to them, that magic will keep it from
affecting them personally but now that it has slapped me in the face once again I must stand up on his behalf as his unbeknownst advocate & raise his voice for him.

What’s NEXT? Let’s get together & do “The Next Thing” that we are called to do as a caring part of society.

Get involved if it’s nothing more than to comment or Like this post – express yourselves – let it be known that we can take NO MORE of this loss of precious life.

About homelessnessinsavannah

Advocating for Homelessness Issues in Savannah, GA, so that we can educate, share experiences & generate a Christian understanding of the issues & people who experience, support & attempt to end homelessness in Savannah, GA or anywhere else we can share stories from or about...
This entry was posted in About, Action, Addictions, Advocvacy, Alcoholism, Causes of Homelessness, Costs of homelessness, Drugs, homeless, Homeless Memorial Day, Housing, Mental Health and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Will we add another name to the homeless fallen list for this years Homeless Memorial Day? Or The Pain in the Recovery / Relapse Cycle of Alcoholism (or drug addictions)

  1. Marvin Heery says:

    It is now just after New Years & we received a couple of calls today about our friends release from detox.

    He is finally out now as of 4pm this afternoon & staying in a shelter tonight.

    He is working on getting into a stable shelter program & then from there into a longer-term recovery program.

    He has asked for our help with applications & we have some ideas we’ll run past him when we see him tomorrow.

    So for now things seem to be going well. I was told last night by someone who saw him at an AA meeting that he is looking good!

    You see, this thing called recovery from an addiction is an involved process that can be a puzzle with many pieces, subject to the pieces being sized differently & needing to be tweaked for each individual, but as long as everybody sticks to the goals of working together to insure success there will be a recovering addict with a support net so the next relapse is less likely to occur.

  2. Well it’s taking a little longer I guess than we expected for him to finish up the detox process but it’s all good! As long as he is staying in there & working the program he is taking the steps he needs to take.

    We keep calling & on our most recent call we heard that he had a good Christmas, got packages from his family & had a home cooked meal too!

    We had hoped to bring him over to the great Christmas Dinner event at Union Mission that we have written about & that got great media coverage too on FOX28 & in the Savannah Morning News.

    We will continue to stay involved from outside the process & engage him in other support efforts later when its appropriate!

  3. Pingback: Ray Mulcahy Ministers to the Homeless @ Chippewa Square, some more stories of change | Homelessness in Savannah, Stories for Learning

  4. Marvin Heery says:

    It is Saturday night & the young man is just finishing up his detox this weekend, expecting to be released Monday or Tuesday.

    The only question is where he might go while awaiting his placement in the Men’s Residence program.

    There are a few variables to work through but the path to recovery has been laid out before him.

    While visiting tonight to drop off some more cigarettes after receiving a true blessing ourselves at a dinner & choir recital put on for the homeless at New Covenant Church (they hosted & Isle of Hope United Methodist Church prepared the excellent meal, followed by their Chancel Choir performing a recital they had done for their Congregation last Sunday – more about this super blessing in another post is promised, with a short piece of video we were able to record on our temperamental camera!) we were able to speak with a counselor / resident manager about his path to sobriety.

    We are definitely new to this process of being supportive of someone in recovery & we want to make sure we are of no hindrance in his path to recovery, but we have engaged in the process & will follow it through.

    Stay tuned, but all seems to be going well at this time.

  5. Pingback: Are we ready for a “O Homeless Night” mobile outreach to the homeless on the streets of Savannah, 12/21/10? | Homelessness in Savannah, Stories for Learning

  6. Tuesday night we got a call from Recovery Place telling us that he was there, admitted & in the program.

    We returned the call & found out he had a need for some pants & he asked if we could bring him some cigarettes!

    You see that while in Social Detox @ Recovery Place or any other recovery center that provides detox services along with the programs of recovery the individual is out of contact with the outside world in order to keep them focused on their recovery for an initial period of time needed to get them out of their cravings & ready to deal with the world as it is. So we had a conversation through an intermediary there with the young man as he expressed his needs.

    So we raided the clothes closet last night! Found some pants for him, maybe too short but they should only be needed for a short time there.

    This morning we gathered up some donations of cigarettes from those who know what its like to be without. Fellow homeless people who had seen him on his path to recovery at the shelter donated them!

    Then this morning on our way to a reunion of sorts with some close personal friends & their employees to share a Christmas luncheon at their place of business & do a little work too we stopped by & delivered the goodies.

    So all is good, hopefully we’ll continue to get updates & check on him every few days!

    Stay tuned as we continue to tell his story of recovery & change!

  7. Last night the young man came back at around 8pm!

    He checked in & got some food & hot tea – he had been out all day since noon in the cold walking around town, going to the few places that were serving meals on a Sunday.

    He shared his feelings about waking up on that Sunday morning & how he had felt this was the day (or night) he was going to die on the streets of Savannah!

    He had come by that morning just looking for a cigarette handout but I had told everyone that if he came by today (Sunday) to come find me so I could try to help him, give him some encouragement & see if he was ready for the next step. We relayed earlier the results of that conversation.

    While sitting at the table with him as he ate his dinner (“Hits the spot” he said) he shared what else he had been thinking that Sunday morning when he woke up. He had a dream to die old & comfortable in an easy chair watching his favorite childhood TV show, “Love American Style”, remembering all the loving & hugging that went on in that show – it made him feel god about himself as a youngster! He would even change the channel from Scoobie Doo to watch the Love American Style show!

    You see that it is without a support system that many remain in their state of addiction! I had needed to sow this level of concern, involvement & interest before & I had thought I had been doing enough, but I had not I think, as the relapse happened.

    The support system we will establish for this young man will involve the work at the Recovery Place, Social Detox & Men’s Residence for sure. But that just might not be enough, so we will connect him with groups & individuals who will support his recovery. AA will likely be involved, personal mentors & coaches, the AA Sponsor approach & whatever it takes to help this individual, this Child of God, to be kept safe & not be put on our list of fallen homeless people, not tis year or any year!

    But today, Monday we are sitting here with him out on his way to Recovery Place. He let a message for me because he left before I could get back downstairs that he would see me & that he was on the way on the bus to take care of his recovery.

    Updates later after we hear that he is all checked in & at Social Detox!

    Stay tuned & follow this story of change, love, hope, encouragement & recovery.

  8. Marvin Heery says:

    An update! You see prayer works & with a little planning things come together.

    The young man showed up again this morning.

    He agreed he needed help, was ready for the help he needed (detox & a program to get him to keep doing the next right thing) & in fact had been to Men’s Residential yesterday.

    They had told him he needed to go to Recovery Place on 63rd & Paulsen. (That’s part of their program too!) But not knowing if they were open on Saturday or Sunday for intake he didn’t go all the way out there from downtown yesterday.

    I had done some calling around last night to a friend I had met who helps recovering alcoholics & addicts, Ray Mulcahy.

    We lift up Ray’s ministry to the homeless & recovering addicts. He has a very powerful story & ministry. Look him up on YouTube – the video was done in 2008 – I have written about Ray & shared his video in other posts on this blog here & here about a ministry in Chippewa Square.

    We had discussed the situation & his advice was for the young man to go to the hospital. He would then be able to go to the Social Detox program, a precursor to the Men’s Residential program.

    As I am writing this, the young man is now back with paperwork from the hospital. He went there, saw a doctor, got fluids & a shot for his withdrawals. He was told to go to Recovery Place tomorrow & had referral paperwork.

    He is on the path to recovery once again! Now we will all be praying he stays on that path!

    One last challenge for tonight though. He has no place to sleep tonight. He says he has not had a drink for 30 hours (it’s 12:30pm now) So if he doesn’t take another one today, shows up at 7pm he should be able to pass a drug test.

    You see all shelters are required to open their doors when the temperature goes below 32 degrees but they don’t open their doors until 7pm.

    Now we wait patiently for 7pm & pray that he stays safe & warm until then!

    More later – as we feel compelled to share this story with our readers in the hopes that we keep another name off the list of the fallen.

    We we’ll also keep “No Wrong Door for Help” in our back pocket!

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