January 13, 2010

I’ve been on F.S.U. (House Arrest) for almost 8 years now. During that time I’ve relapsed several times and been returned to jail. My history on Furlough has been called “egregious”, “ridiculous” and “terrible.”  It was always a revolving door with me.

Because of this history, I had been deemed ‘High Risk’ so my options for residences were gone.  All I had was Dismas House.  I signed up and was accepted. I waited my turn, knowing full well that I was going to hate it. I dreaded the thought of living with a house full of people I didn’t know.  On top of that, I’d have to follow rules that were designed to make me fail. I was sure that it was only a matter of time until it blew up in my face.  But, even considering all of that, what choice did I have?

I have a fiancé and four beautiful children in my life.  They mean the world to me. They have waited patiently for me to finally get my priorities straight.  I felt that if I could just stay clean I’d finally be the partner and father that I want to be and that they deserve.  This could realistically be my last chance to make it happen.

When I got to Dismas I realized that I did know a few people here.  They told me what was expected of me and made me feel welcome. I was treated like a human being. It didn’t take long to figure out that this place is set up to help people succeed. Everyone here is responsible for themselves and there is support to help everyone through. Dismas’ goal is to get us on track and send us out with a fresh start and a positive outlook. If you want to stay clean and make your life better, you’ll do fine. Coming home to a comfortable, secure place where everyone is clean makes things a lot easier. There have been times when I really wanted to get high and I was scared but I swallowed my pride and talked to my friends here and got through it.  I am never alone here.  For three months I have had a great experience.  I have turned a corner and that’s partly due to Dismas. I’ll always owe a debt of gratitude to the people here.   – Bryan Spence, Buell St Dismas