Chris did not have the typical teenager’s life, raised by a single mother who struggled financially; he began working full time at the age of 14 so he could help support him and his mom, while still attending high school. It was during these young teenage years that Chris began suffering with excruciating migraines and was treated with prescription narcotics for the pain. It did not take long before Chris became dependent on them just to function daily.
Chris continued working full time, going to school, all the while dealing with an addiction to narcotics.
He graduated high school, moved out on his own, and enrolled in community college. It was not long though before the pressures of work and school became too much; Chris dropped out of college, however, the prescription dependency continued.
A few years after high school, Chris attended a friend’s wedding and reconnected with an old high school friend, Christina. They met for dinner a few weeks later and soon thereafter began dating. Christina knew Chris had an addiction to pills, however, because he was a “functioning addict,” she didn’t give it much thought.
Over time their relationship blossomed and things were going great. Chris and Christina were excited and happy to be expecting their first child when the unthinkable happened; tragedy struck. Complications in Christina’s pregnancy arose, causing her to have a miscarriage and emergency surgery.
After the traumatic loss of their baby, Christina turned to God and her church family for comfort but, unfortunately Chris relied on pills to numb his pain.
He fell into a deep depression and buried himself in his work and his addiction.
Things changed for Christina when she became pregnant again, they soon married, and welcomed a beautiful, baby girl, Kira, into their lives. It was the birth of Kira that brought a whole new perspective to how severe Chris’s addiction was. They both knew he needed to get help if he was going to be the father Kira deserved.
Chris entered a 30 day rehabilitation program and stayed sober for a short period of time before falling back into old habits. He again went to in-patient rehabilitation for 30 days and remained sober for 6 months. Chris and Christina thought they were on the right track with Chris’s sobriety, enjoying their lives and their baby girl.
One evening, on a date night, Chris had a drink. He didn’t think twice about having it as his dependency was never to alcohol. One drink…it was all it took for Chris to spiral out of control. He began drinking every day and soon became a person Christina didn’t recognize. He lost his job, their house went into foreclosure, and Chris was no longer the husband and father he needed to be.
Chris’s alcohol use became so intolerable that Christina made the difficult decision to leave, with Kira, and file for divorce. It was at this point Chris knew he had hit rock bottom. Not only had he lost his job and his home, but he was about to lose the most important part of his life, his wife and child.
Christina, knowing about Grace Centers of Hope and its Christian foundation, gave Chris the choice to get help or lose his family. Chris began his journey to recovery in May 2017 when he entered the One Year Life Skills Program. Being supportive of her husband, Christina and Kira came to see Chris twice a week, and after 3 months.
Christina began to see a change in him she had never seen before…a newfound relationship with God.
Christina and Kira came to live with Chris at the main campus so they could be together as a family for the remainder of his program. Christina was able to continue working while Chris attended classes, counseling, work therapy, and bible study. Kira was cared for by loving staff at Hands of Hope Childcare Center, where she thrived as a toddler and made many new friends.
After successfully completing the one year program, Chris and his family moved into aftercare in early 2018. Chris and Christina are now expecting their second child and Kira is attending pre-school classes at Hands of Hope Childcare with her friends.
Chris and Christina’s story is like so many others that come through the doors of Grace Centers of Hope on a daily basis; stories of hope and redemption. Your generosity and continued prayers for our mission make you a part of each of these stories like Chris and Christina’s.