Message of Hope from a Grad

In the midst of social distancing and personal struggles, the world is reconnecting in different ways. With less to do, all we really have is each other.

With that being said, we had the opportunity to catch up and hear from our friend, Saint, who has been with us since the very beginning of REAL LIFE – in the jail – what seems like forever ago!

Now living in Atlanta, Saint shared his story along with some wise words for our current Lifers and what they might be going through.

Before getting into to the good stuff, he talked about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected him in his everyday life and recovery. He is, however continuing to follow his positive habits while at home like working out and doing music.

In recovery it is important to fill up your days with positive and productive activities. Saint compared it to how Native Americans made sure to use every last part of the buffalo—nothing would go to waste—this is how you follow your pathway to thriving! A large piece of that includes being aware and accepting that you are “not perfect, but walking in a perfect plan.”

You are able to change your perspective… and Saint realized, “I didn’t get arrested, I got rescued!” From that point of view, you can see all the things you have instead of what you don’t have, and share the positive with others!

Saint went on to say that his son is currently incarcerated. During a visit, his son said that he was so glad that his dad was clean and sober and feels like he can finally relax. For Saint, he saw that “we don’t realize the effect we have; we become a testimony for them,” and he was moved by recognizing the influence of his actions and choices on his son’s life.

By doing differently and thinking differently, Saint’s character evolved. The fact that he had such an impact on others transformed his every day.

Every time he’d be inches from a blessing, he’d turn the corner and go another way. The reality of that is, it’s pretty scary to have good things in front of you when all you’ve known is not so good. Failure is easy, and we know what to expect, but success is scary because it hurts a lot more to lose.

Saint decided he was a warrior in recovery. He had the power to change the outcome and learned to fight with positivity instead of excuses. But being a warrior in recovery means the fight never really ends… and the beast of addiction is patience that can be gained by having faith in the process, changing your perspective, and living life on life’s terms.

For every negative he encounters, he rejects it and says “nope, that’s not going to be my testimony.”  He sees everything is a process and the opportunity can be found by opening the door.

A lifestyle change doesn’t begin at the bottom, it begins with a solid foundation. That may look like biking 11 miles round trip to work a shift at Burger King.

Most of all, Saint emphasized the importance of positivity, community, and talking with one another. You’re not alone, but it is up to you to reach out and open your mind to talk about hard things.

This is a rare moment in time that we are all feeling a bit scared and vulnerable. Reach out and talk about what is going on for you so that you can stay strong in recovery. We are all human, and we’re in this together.