For some individuals in recovery, the most gratifying aspect is rebuilding family relationships. For Providence Center (TPC) clients Richard and Kenny, this Father’s Day will mean a great deal.
They both live at Mosiac House, a residential recovery house in Providence, named for its strategy: helping people put their lives back together one piece at a time. They have found great rewards in achieving sobriety and reconnecting with their children.
Richard is from a large, Irish-Catholic family and started drinking at a young age. Following a serious car accident, he became addicted to pain medication and began experimenting with other drugs. He also suffers from mental health issues like depression, which he “ignored for many years.” Richard had a child that became a big part of his life, but his battle with addiction meant he was never a constant presence. “I’d have a year sober here or there, but I’d go back to my old ways and be out of his life for a long period of time,” said Richard.
Last July, Richard was arrested for drug possession. His counselor at the Adult Correctional Institute referred him to a Providence Center program within the ACI that Richard says saved his life. “The staff at TPC were always there for me and helped give me the tools I needed to see my son again.”
Now in long-term recovery, Richard has been able to establish a healthy relationship with his son and takes care of him two nights a week. He enjoys going to his baseball games and bringing him to karate practice. “When my son sees me, he lights up, and it’s the best feeling in the world, said Richard. “To me, there’s no kind of substance that can give you that feeling.”
Brad Pinney is the manager at Mosaic House and knows how important a role family can play in the recovery effort. “We’re all working toward the same goal here, and nothing supports recovery like reconnection with loved ones,” said Pinney. “Family gives our clients a support system when they get out and begin living their sober lives.”
Kenny knows all too well the toll that addiction can take on families. He started selling drugs at 11 years old, and began a life of substance abuse at a very early age. “I went through life thinking I was unstoppable.” His son, who is about to turn 21, did not have Kenny in his life as a stable father figure, who “always put my addiction ahead of my child.” He served two years in prison in 2000 and was sober for the six years following his sentence. But when his mother became ill, he dealt with the pain by returning to his old habits.
On December 8, 2014, when his newborn daughter was just nine days old, he was arrested for drug possession. “I knew right then and there that I needed to make some changes for my daughter’s sake. I needed to make the effort to live the rest of my life clean and sober.” Kenny got involved with NA and AA meetings and resolved to find his life in sobriety.
When he was further along into his recovery, he reached out to his son and his daughter’s mother, who had moved out of the area. Now, Kenny calls his daughter every day, and her mother is flying her into the area to see him for Father’s Day. It will be his first time seeing his daughter outside of prison. “Every day I get to talk to her is Father’s Day to me, and words can’t describe how excited I am to see her in person,” said Kenny.
As for his son, Kenny realizes that it may take longer for him to fully forgive his past mistakes. “I realize that 18 months sober is only the very beginning when it comes to proving myself to my son. Going forward, I hope to become the father I never was when he was growing up.” Kenny’s son is also expecting a child, and Kenny also hopes to be a part of the child’s life in the future.