Recovery Stories

Comments (0)       

The year was 1989. Mom died. Then Dad. Then my aunt and niece. All dead within a 90 day period. Emotionally, I was a wreck. Lacking the skills to cope with such sudden and devastating death, I turned to alcohol and drugs to deal with my pain. The result of my addiction? I stopped caring about me, my rent, my power bills, even eating.

What followed was horrible: sleeping in abandoned cars and houses, eating from dumpsters outside fast food restaurants, unemployed with no direction to my life at all. UNTIL, I stopped at The Firehouse Shelter one night. At the time, the Shelter offered a warm place on a cold night and a hot meal to nourish  me. The Shelter also led me to Jessica Germany (“she didn’t play”) and Sister Mary Oliver (“the most loving, caring spirit I had ever seen”).

Intense counseling. Job training. Constant strong encouragement that held me accountable. And eventually, full time addiction treatment at the VA facility in Little Rock, Arkansas ensued after I pleaded for help from Sister Mary, “What a GOD-SEND that woman was!” After I finished treatment, I took a job with the VA in Little Rock and stayed a year before returning to Birmingham in 1991 at the age of 33. Slowly, but surely, God was changing me from the inside out.

I stayed clean. Stopped drinking altogether. “Being clean afforded me the opportunity to become a different person.” I admitted I needed help-“a willing mind.” I changed my environment. I learned to submit to my bosses, follow guidelines, and become obedient. Most important though, were “the many people that surrounded me with a loving spirit.” These internal changes put me in a position vocationally and financially to start to experience success.

What kind of success? Today, after 20+ years of staying clean and submitting to HIS will, God has blessed me with the responsibility of leading Kimro Painting and Services as the CEO and President of 20-30 employees. Currently we have contracts with Children’s Hospital, the Birmingham City School System, Hoar Construction & Shuttlesworth International Airport. Having a sustainable business model which is very profitable is most rewarding. “However, I am eternally grateful that The Firehouse Shelter was there for me when I had hit rock bottom.”

“The Firehouse Shelter taught me to cope emotionally with the depression and deep hurt I faced after losing both parents and two relatives in a 90 day period. When I turned to alcohol and drugs to mask the pain, the “GUT-LEVEL HONEST” Firehouse Shelter staff who forced me to confront my problems head on-with a CARING SPIRIT-made all the difference in the world. I was held ACCOUNTABLE, and this was CRUCIAL to me becoming a productive member of society again.”

Ron’s story comes from The Firehouse Shelter. Visit their profile to learn more.


There are currently no comments, be the first to post one.

Post Comment

Name (required)

Email (required)


Enter the code shown above: