“Find people who love and accept you no matter what. When others love on you long enough you can learn to love yourself and pass it on to others,” says Back on My Feet alumnus Paul.
Paul had a chaotic start to life, leading to early drug use at just the age of 15. From there it was rocky road and Paul found himself battling through rehab after 30 years of using. Once Paul got serious about helping himself recover, he joined Back on My Feet and quickly found that the encouragement of a community was exactly what he needed, “The highlight of my day was when volunteers would come in. They would look past my addiction and my past and have a real life conversation with me.” Paul says the relationships he formed with other members and volunteers are what pushed him to do his best and even admits to being lazy in the morning runs when his favorite volunteer, Hannah, wasn’t there to push him.
Taking the advice of mentors he looked up to, Paul now works for the rehab center he graduated from and stays in a sober living community to help him stay on track as he regains self-sufficiency. Paul is going on vacation soon to see family that he hasn’t seen in 30 years and says, “I’m proud to be able to take vacation time, pay for plane tickets, and put my family before addiction.”