Rito's Story

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I grew up in a broken home. There was always a lot of alcohol around. My mom and dad both were always drinking. I started drinking and smoking weed at a very young age. I always worked and all, but eventually it all caught up to me. I went jail when I was 30 years old. When I got out, I started messing with methamphetamine. I knew I needed to get help.

When I was younger, I did a lot of factory work. I did go to school for a while and became a CNA. I went back and became a LVN. I worked 4-5 years as an LVN. I loved it. I worked in a convalescent hospital and at the prison in Pleasant Valley. I always had dreams, but I think what drove me was wanting to earn money always wanting to have things I didn’t need. With the alcohol and drug use, I eventually lost hope. The Mission is giving me hope.

I tried to do things my way, but obviously that didn’t work out, now I want to do things the way God wants me to do things. I’m now learning more about God and I am thinking that is how the change begins. I had to go through really hard times first. I thought I knew God, but I didn’t. I know now that God loves me and he wants what is best for me.

I’m going on 8 months of the year long program. I have 2 children, a daughter and a son. I haven’t seen them since I’ve been here. Their mom and I had a lot of problems, most of it had to do with my addiction. I want to be in my kid’s life, I want them to know me, and I know things are going to be hard after not seeing them for so long. Things are a lot different now because I am sober. I am learning who I am without drugs and alcohol. It feels really good to be able to look people in face knowing I’m sober and I’ve been sober since I’ve been here.