Shawn's Photo

Shawn’s Story

“Life was a roller coaster”


Shawn was the youngest of three sons. Life was good, until the mid-80’s when Shawn began experimenting with drugs and alcohol. And from there, it all went downhill!

“Life was a roller coaster,” Shawn says. “But it seemed to go down more than up.”

For the next 30 years, Shawn would get clean from time to time, but overall, his drug use just got worse and worse.

Shawn moved from place to place, sometimes being drug-free for as long as six years!

He hoped that moving away from drugs and the people he knew who used them would mean an end to his own addiction. But eventually, he found people in his new place who used drugs too. “It was my escape when I didn’t want to deal with life. I would get high. I would drink. I would do whatever I could to not feel.”

“In the end, I just got tired of the way I was living.”

Today, Shawn deals with life instead of “running from it.” “I had a moment of clarity,” he says. “I found out about the Rescue Mission and their Rebound Program and decided to make a change.”

At first, Shawn didn’t like all our rules. “It was rough,” he says with a smile. “I had to tuck in my shirt and couldn’t wear my earring…and no cell phones! But I knew I wanted to stay, so I followed the rules.”

“You just let go and step out in faith.”

“It’s hard to let go and let God,” Shawn says. “But when you take that first step and find that you’re on solid ground, your confidence starts to build and you want to take the next step.”

Today, Shawn likes the face he sees every morning in the mirror. “You have to get rid of everything you know and trust that somebody can show you a different way.”

While he was here at the Rescue Mission, Shawn was blessed with a good job, but just recently, he was laid off. “God’s got something better for me,” he says. “I’ve been offered a job in Atlanta as a maintenance mechanic and welder…it’s God’s blessing.”

Shawn will always be ready to share his story.

“I tell the new guys in the program that you’ve got to remember [where you came from]. Because the moment you forget, you’re doomed to repeat your past!”

In addition to strengthening his relationship with the Lord, Shawn has rebuilt bonds with his family. “They see the difference in me,” he says. “My mom and my sister here, and my ex-wife and my children in Ohio…they’re happy with who I am now.”

“No program is 100% unless you put in the effort. If you really want to change your life, if you really want to get off drugs, this is the place to be. But they’re not going to do the work…they give you the tools and it’s up to you to use them.”