For 9 years I drank, gambled, borrowed money, and pretty much ran from responsibility. The shakes got so bad that I would need a couple drinks in the morning to function at my job. Gambling became an opportunity to fix my financial troubles and the ability to drink for free. I’m a good guy with self-destructive behaviors that I thought I could beat on my own but eventually lost my job and my apartment, both that I had held for 9 years. I knew that it was time to seek help.
I checked into Bristlecone Family Resources. I did everything that the staff, my counselors, and my heart told me to do. Different counselors have the answers to many types of questions. I followed the rules and have succeeded. It’s truly a growing experience if you are truly ready to change. I’ve learned so many tools to use in my everyday life that stopping any addiction is possible if you make good choices. To this day I haven’t put one dollar in a machine, I haven’t drank, and I was able to get my job back.
I now lead Gambling Anonymous meetings; I look different, feel different, and all I did was do what the Bristlecone staff told me to do. I really can’t say more about the staff except they all work here because they want to. Thank you, Bristlecone. I’ve been given a second chance to prove myself, to me and my family and friends. This is what true happiness feels like- freedom to be me.
I came from a small town in California. I joined the army at 27 but subsequently broke my back. I then moved to Sacramento where I started using meth to help with my mental health problems and back pain. I lived there and used for 6 years, getting caught up by human traffickers twice before I sought help at the local VA.
I attended a rehab at the VA then went to a shelter. For 6months I stayed clean but continued to struggle with my addiction. I came to Reno to attend Intensive Outpatient at the VA and was given the option to come to Bristlecone Family Resources. I took the opportunity.
Since I’ve been here, I have found what I have been missing. Although the VA is a good program, the program at Bristlecone goes more in-depth into things like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which has changed my whole state of mind.
Since coming to Bristlecone I found something I never thought I’d have again, I found my laughter. I am going to continue at Bristlecone’s Transitional Living while attending the VA intensive outpatient program until I get housing. I am grateful for all the gifts I have gotten from Bristlecone Family Resources.