“I went from wanting to kill myself to looking at a future and being excited about it.” – Gabe
It’s not something to be proud of, but we’ve all been there. We’ve all seen that person on the street, their eyes unfocused, hair matted with dirt under their fingernails and booze on their breath and thought: “That person is a lost cause.”
No one would have blamed you if you thought that when you looked at Gabe*. In fact, you might have.
Gabe was sleeping on the curb when we found him. He’d been drinking for 34 years straight. That’s 12,410 days in a row.
“From age 18 till 52, there was not one day I did not drink,” he says.
It all started when his parents divorced.
“I was old enough to know right from wrong,” Gabe says, “But I didn’t know how to deal with life. So I started drinking.”
For years he was a functional alcoholic. He worked a good job, got married, had kids. But when his wife had an affair, took his daughters and left, the bottle became his only companion.
“I wanted to kill myself,” says Gabe.
Gabe probably would have died on that curb if it weren’t for supporters like you.
“I was shaking all the time,” he remembers of his first few days at the Mission. “It was really difficult for me to get up the stairs. I had to use the rail to pull myself up.”
But Gabe kept trying.
Once he began healing, he found what he’d been looking for his whole life – a relationship with Jesus.
“If I would have had Jesus Christ in my heart then, it would have been a whole different way of doing things,” Gabe says.
Because of the food, shelter and programs you provided, it’s hard to catch Gabe without a smile on his face. At 52, he feels like he has his whole life ahead of him.
Now, instead of picking up a bottle every day, Gabe looks for someone to help. He doesn’t know how many days he has left on the earth, but he plans to use every single one of them for good.
“I used to ask myself every day, ‘What am I gonna do today to mess things up?’ Now I ask myself, ‘What am I gonna do today to glorify God?’ ”
“If the Mission wasn’t here and the people were not here to guide me, help me, and direct me, I would have killed myself.” – Gabe
*Name changed to protect his privacy.