After Nearly Drinking Himself To Death, Matt Accepts Help
When Matt started drinking, he had no idea how seriously the alcohol would take hold of him. “For years I was just drinking for fun,” he said. “But then I had kids, I had money woes, things got more and stressful. I began drinking for escape and to cope with my problems, although I wasn’t coping. I was avoiding.”
Matt grew up in Virginia and started working after finishing high school, doing landscaping work, plumbing and tire repair. He had two sons, now 18 and 15, with a woman he was with for nearly eight years. “When that relationship ended, my drinking got worse,” he said. “I was depressed. Money problems really piled up. I was trying to drink the pain away, drown my sorrows.
“I felt overwhelmed, like there was no hope. You start to think, ‘What’s the point in even trying? I’ll just drink and feel better.’ This vicious cycle begins of realizing you don’t want to drink anymore, but not being able to stop. I knew if I stopped, I wouldn’t be able to physically function.”
Matt met another woman, who he has now been with for 14 years. “We’ve had our fair share of problems. She was a drinker, I was a drinker—it was like gas on fire when it came to that. After a good amount of bad luck and bad choices, we ended up homeless for a while. … Having nothing, it was very humbling.”
Matt eventually took the first step toward getting help. “A friend I grew up with saw the situation I was in. He basically gave me a helping hand to get me out here. I had been wrestling with it, but I lost my job, I couldn’t pay my bills, and I was losing my apartment. I was drinking myself to death. I could tell if I just stayed in that situation, the way I was going, it was going to kill me.”
Matt came out to California over a year ago and completed another program before relapsing after a couple months. “The program I went to first, it was more about getting you functioning as a person. Here at the mission, it’s more focused on where you need to be with God and getting right with God. That’s what I’m doing now. That’s what I needed.”
Matt is reading the bible and building a relationship with God, something he hasn’t had before. “I come from a very legalistic religious upbringing where everything was always wrong. It’s hard to figure out what is right and wrong, when everything is always wrong. It comes down to having a lot of faith and building on that. I’m looking to the bible—not what someone says—to show me what’s right.”