Humans of Gliss Blog
Lawrence - Have I Ever Had Struggles
“Have I ever had struggles? Yeah, life itself has been struggle”.
Today we bring you the story of Lawrence.
*In lieu of a photo, we have attached a quote about sobriety*
I have had a few struggles in particular that I can easily recall. One of them is a struggle that some may never experience in their lifetime - homelessness. I was homeless for six whole years. I didn’t have a place to lay my head at night for a while because I wasn’t making enough money. “Just scraping by” barely describes what it was like. I didn’t allow my lack of residency to stop me from working though, I showed up every day, despite what I went through the night before. I eventually found a spot to keep my belongings at in a VA. I was graciously given a dorm room for a year and used that time to save up enough money to move to Oregon from Denver. Why the move? To be closer to my daughter. I really needed that.
When I got to Oregon I was again, homeless. I would rent a hotel room every couple of days to clean myself up and hopefully avoid looking like I slept on the streets. While no one knew I was homeless, I knew. It grew heavy on me and I ended up turning to alcohol. In comes struggle number two - sobriety. Each day, I continued to press on, fight the battles and never gave up hope that I would end up where I wanted to be.
Why would someone pick up drinking if they were homeless with barely enough money to get by? Well, that’s because the bar was a warm place I could be at until 2am. It feels crazy to say, but drinking was only to keep myself warm but when you’re in survival mode you do what it takes. Fast forward in life and one day I decided to kick the can, and get myself together for my daughters sake. Before I moved to Oregon I would only see her twice a year. Now that I had made the move, I needed to finish my goal of being closer to her and that meant leaving behind my homelessness and getting sober. I did just that.
I don’t really know what kept me motivated during this time other than the desire to have my family back but I can tell you this: If you are going through what I have been through, DON’T GIVE UP. Always tell yourself you’re not going to give up. If you keep moving forward, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Even though I was financially supporting my family, I lost 6 years of life that I could have lived with my wife and daughter. I can not replace those 6 years, and I’ll never forget that.
I am loving this new life I have created though. The need to drink has been lifted from me and I’m forever grateful for this second chance.
Lawrence - We are SO proud of your dedication. You sought out growth and opportunity when it was hard to see the end result. You can do anything you put your mind to!