“I didn’t care about anything. I had no will to live.”
As a child, Dino was picked on because of his dyslexia. To hide feelings of inferiority, he developed a coping mechanism: “I used laughter to cover up things I was afraid of. I geared myself toward having a good time,” he said.
The partying lifestyle provided an escape from his insecurities, but it also led to drug use. It was social in the beginning, but when his brother died, drugs became a means of covering up his pain.
“That propelled my addiction to a very aggressive state,” he explained. “I didn’t care about anything. I had no will to live.”
That same year, another one of Dino’s friends passed away. At that point, someone told him, “You’re going to be the next one to die if you don’t get help.” That realization sank in – he knew he needed to change.
Dino joined the addiction recovery Life Change Program at our Market Street Mission location. At first, he was uncertain about his ability to change, but hearing the stories of other men in our program gave him hope. “I loved the camaraderie and brotherhood. It showed me how to live again, differently,” he said.
Your compassion and generosity gave Dino the opportunity to rebuild his life in our program. Through Bible studies and mentorship, he began to heal.
“The love of the Gospel pierced through my heart, and it softened me where I was hard and careless.”
Dino made great progress and graduated from our program. But when COVID hit, he relapsed and fell back into old, destructive behaviors. Dino knew a life of addiction was not what he wanted, and he reached out to the Mission to ask for help again.
Our team encouraged him to join our relapse program here at the Jersey Shore Rescue Mission, where he got back on the path of recovery and reconnected with God.
Thanks to your prayers and support, Dino completed our relapse program and became an intern, serving in a leadership position at the Mission. Now, he is celebrating new life and sharing his hope with the people around him.
Dino is filled with thanksgiving for God’s redeeming love in his life – and your incredible generosity! “I’m thankful to the Mission for being clean and sober, and having a relationship with God. I don’t look at myself as a failure. I look at myself as blessed and fortunate. The only thing that matters now is the next day – staying clean and serving God.”
To read our Fall 2023 issue of The Lifeline, click here.