“August 24th, 2015: So This kid leaves his county jail on the way to a treatment center. He didn’t know what to expect…But he knew he was gonna listen to what they said and [actually] try to do what they asked him to do. On the outside he smirked, cracked jokes and laughed, talked to other inmates and wrote letters to friends as if he’d never known despair. Deep inside was a broken, scared, little boy. He didn’t know that ride to treatment was the first step in him becoming a man. When he got there, what he found was a group of amazing people who he could relate to, and who loved him until one day, he finally started loving himself again. He didn’t do it perfect by no means, but he listened; to people very wise and very passionate about recovery. He simply got tired of losing. Once he admitted he was broken, that’s when God started to use him…We all know God often uses broken people to do big things. Fast Forward 3 Years, that kid that left the county jail, has become a man. He can pass the mirror test. He’s blessed far more than he deserves to be and works alongside with those amazing people who loved him and taught him, getting the chance to welcome in, love and teach the next soul God sends to them. I’m extremely humbled and grateful for an unconditional love and endless grace that I’ve been shown, and all the amazing people He’s put in my life to support me. I love you guys” – Sam H.
“I had been broken and in bondage for so long… Today I will not tear others down by finding weaknesses and thriving on them. I am learning how to live life on life’s terms. I’m learning how to identify with others, and also taking it easy on myself. I realize what I want and that’s a life free of bondage. I loved getting high but couldn’t be successful in using. Not being able to step away more, and more, to the point where that’s all I lived for. See, I had trained my mind to the point of where I didn’t even have to think; I just manipulated people by their weaknesses I had found in them. I didn’t even think about tearing another human being down for their own insecurities, because I was too dead to my own self to face mine anymore. I used to not feel the conviction of beating myself up so I stayed high to not face myself. But anything I used always wore off. I am finding real ways to deal with my fears, my anxiety, lust, envy, deception from my own ways of thinking. I am learning contentment, to be content with what I’ve got, because the ‘Three B’s’ – Bigger, Badder, and Better – have gotten me nowhere. By feeding into the idea of Bigger, Badder, and Better, I only set myself up for failure. Trying to measure up to someone else is not living up to yourself. I was always trying to control everything and everybody. I’d lost my own self worth. But I’ve found freedom in others; admitting, accepting, and acknowledging my problems, my defects, and my anxieties. God has put a plan, instructions, for any addict to follow. Today, I have learned through the forgiveness that my God has spoken into this world through testimonies. Today I take it easy on myself. I try really hard to not carry the mess of my past life around. By accepting the fact that I can’t put the blame on others. I can’t blame it on drugs either. I can only blame self. I find freedom in a conscious contact with God. When I feel like I’m doing something wrong, I can change that. I do the next right thing. I love myself today. I’m trusting that God’s got my past and my future. God gives us a present. Yes, we get presents from God. Today I try to be molded of God’s image of me, by asking what He wants, and He does not want want me to be a liar, thief, heathen, quick to anger, and manipulate people.
My chains have been broken. The most important lesson I’ve learned is I don’t have to have a guilty conscious if I’m doing what is right. I am not saying that I’m completely healed, but I am healing. I was like an infected wound, now I’m healing from the inside out. At the Tony Rice Center you are shown love and shown how to relate again to human kind. At Tony Rice you are shown and love and how to give love. When we show others love it shows us how to love ourselves, and we can keep what we have by giving it away. Now I know this thing is a life long process, but I am glad there is a place to show addicts like me how to get a new start. Showing us a way to live with the disease of addiction, and showing me a way to be Happy, Joyous, and Free. Thank You, Tony Rice Center.”
– Noah, Bristol, TN