Ricki didn’t know that there could be more to life, until he found hope and healing with the Salvos.
As a child, Ricki thought he had a normal upbringing. He didn’t understand that abuse and alcoholism were uncommon in most families. It wasn’t until his mother died by suicide that he began to understand his family was different.
“Not long after my mother’s death, I ran away to live with my aunt in Melbourne,” he says. “I was introduced to drugs and the partying scene.
“I didn’t realise the effect drug abuse was having on my life and my loved ones. To me, addiction was something other people suffered.”
In a moment of clarity, Ricki knew he needed help.
“I lost a lot of things, including relationships, and realised I needed to do something with my life instead of putting my head in the sand,” Ricki explains.
“I started to meet with people from various detoxification centres. They paved the way for my recovery. I was then accepted into Townsville Recovery Services Centre.”
Not only was Ricki embarking on a personal journey, he was also heading interstate in pursuit of a new life.
“I was nervous on the flight from Melbourne to Townsville. I was a scared man. I felt like I had no control of what I did.”
But his willingness to face his fears was rewarded by what he found at the other end of the flight.
“The team at the centre worked with me to identify the issues that led to my addiction. It was intense and forced me to address the trauma in my past.”
For Ricki, the program gave him the tools to change his life and he happily shares the lessons it taught him.
“The program is very simple and if you just apply it, it works,” he said. “You have to physically make the choice to improve your life otherwise if you don’t improve it, nobody else will do it for you.”
The changes didn’t end when the program did, though, and Ricki’s life is now on a different path.
“I recently graduated from the centre. I am proud to be clean. I am now an active member in the church and my community. It is such a blessing to finally have a clear head and hope for the future. I now have the power to make the right choice.”
Ricki is now studying, and is enrolled in a double degree at James Cook University in business and law.
“This journey and the support I have received from The Salvation Army has shown me that everyone has the potential to change their path.”
Additional quotes courtesy of The Townsville Bulletin