Meet Michael I always remember feeling unwanted and unloved.

As a child born to a woman in her 40s, Michael never felt cared for. "At 14, I began taking hallucinating drugs." When he was 18, he was arrested for possession of LSD. He spent time in jail where he felt a spiritual awakening. He was sent to a shock camp and then was sentenced to two years of probation.

"A hell on my soul was unleashed."

Once out of incarceration, Michael started smoking marijuana and drinking beer. By the time his probationary period ended, he was back to using his drug of choice, heroin. The result was a steady decline that lasted years, and Michael finally became homeless. A blood clot/staph infection landed him in the hospital, where he also had surgery. He then began a long journey to get out of the hell in which he had been living.

Michael and Geri, his case manager at CFC

"Michael was here because he wanted to get well."

After time in an inpatient addiction treatment center, Michael entered the ReStart outpatient program sponsored by Family and Community Services. As his time in the program progressed, he became impressed with the commitment of some of his peers. "I enjoyed the processing and relationship-building that happened in this group," Michael said. ReStart Counselor Geri Gigliotti witnessed Michael’s own commitment to recovery. "I remember Michael saying he was looking for a miracle…He just surrendered…and that was the beginning of his turnaround."

"Before I took my will back, my will was in charge of my life."

Michael says he now lives in God’s will, and he has “a desire to do the right thing of service to a higher power and to others.” He acts as a mentor to others in Alcoholics Anonymous, and finds their journeys inspire him. Michael now wants to go to school for either pastoral care or social work, and he hopes to improve his relationship with his family. "There are no shortcuts or casual options on this road to living clean and serving our higher purpose." Learn more about Restart.


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