- On December 1, 2016
Over the holidays, Patrick will share hugs with his parents and siblings. He’ll enjoy a family meal and spend time playing with his adoring nieces and nephews. For Patrick, this typical Christmas celebration will be extraordinary. “It’s a blessing,” he says. “I can cherish it and make memories.”
Since he began drinking at age 14, Patrick began a downward spiral into alcoholism. “When you hit your bottom, you don’t think it gets any worse, but it does. Every bottom has a trap door… and it just gets worse and worse. And mine would ultimately be death or a long-term incarceration,” he says. Patrick was incarcerated for a period, and after his release had no place to go. He began drinking again, and eventually found himself downing vanilla extract to avoid withdrawal. That’s when he decided to get help.
He came to the Ithaca Rescue Mission’s shelter, and worked with a case manager to access the resources he needed to address his addiction during his shelter stay. “When I came to the Rescue Mission, I just had this really warm feeling. They just made me feel part of a family,” Patrick says.
Patrick worked hard to get sober and stay sober. He now lives in the Rescue Mission’s permanent supportive housing and works as a manager at a local bakery. He’s also studying for a psychology degree from SUNY Empire State College.
“It’s been an amazing path,” Patrick says of his recovery. “Everything that’s been laid out, they call it coincidences, but I like to call them ‘God-incidences.’ That’s exactly what they are. When you are giving your will up to God, that’s exactly what it is.”