Learning to Believe in Myself by Believing in Bon Secours

 
“I was living in a recovery house five years ago when a friend told me about the Workforce Development Program at Bon Secours. He told me that I’d get classes to help me find a job and $700 when I graduated. Well I didn’t get the money—but I got a lot more! I met Althea at Bon Secours. She believed in me, maybe more than I believed in myself.
 
You know—I didn’t always use drugs. It was when I turned 40 that I started. I’d had a drinking problem before, but I gave up the alcohol.” “So when I turned 40, I went to a friend’s house and I wanted to celebrate. There were drugs there and I said ‘give me some of that.’ I’ll never forget those words.
 
I was so grateful for the Workforce Development Program. I used to do accounting work. But it was here that I began a love affair with the computer. It just made sense to me. Now I help train people on the computer, I’m a data input coordinator. But it wasn’t easy.
 
Once I started using I was hooked. It’s like with the alcohol, if you have an addictive personality, you get hooked real quick on things. Once I started—I was off to the races. Normalcy was gone. There isn’t anything like it. People look right through you. You become invisible. I’ll never forget walking the streets of Baltimore—being invisible.
 
After I graduated, I had a relapse. I ended up on the street. I slept on benches around town, in Lafayette Square. Then my brother-in-law took me for a 28-day inpatient program and I finally brought humility into the equation. This
time I really gave them up, it’ll be five years this Labor Day. My sister told me that Bon Secours had been calling her looking for me while I was in rehab. Once again, it was Bon Secours to the rescue.
 
When I came back, it was a homecoming— I was welcomed back. They hired me at $8/hour for just 12 hours a week. It was half of what I made back when I did accounting work, before the drugs. But I was grateful. I had learned to appreciate things in rehab. Gradually, they increased my hours and responsibilities here.
 
What I learned to do at Bon Secours was important—but what I learned about myself was more important. When I came to Bon Secours for the Workforce Development Program classes, I stopped being invisible. People here don’t look down on you. I was inspired. I thought, I want to be part of the solution! And now, I think I am.”