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Recovery Stories

To shed light on the challenges of addiction, celebrate recovery, and spread hope, we are sharing stories from our St. Anthony’s community, focusing on Father Alfred Center, our residential recovery program for men. These are personal stories, told in the words of the individuals who lived them. As one of our interviewees put it, “Stories save our lives. They remind us we’re not alone.”

Joe’s Story

I think most people I’ve met who got into comedy, they didn’t set out to do it. I was working at Max’s Opera Cafe in Walnut Creek. I had broken up with my girlfriend and I was heartbroken…

Mac’s Story

I had a family. We had a house in Hayward. I was still going to work, but I wasn’t coming home for weeks because I was feeling too much shame. I just wanted to stay away. I lost my girlfriend. I lost the house. I lost the car…

Erik’s Story

I had a good life, I had good parents. I lived in a good neighborhood of Albany. I worked at PGE for 10 years, and I had a beautiful wife. 

But I was addicted…

Justin's Story

Justin’s Story

I grew up in a drug and crime-addicted family. I was raised in the streets of Oakland. Really that’s all I knew — the life of crime, drugs, and stuff like that. I never made it to high school…

Juan Carlos’ Story

I grew up in the Mission District. Back then, the Mission was pretty heavy in gangs. I’ve seen a lot of drive-bys, a lot of murders, a lot of stuff right in front of my stoop. But I never liked gangs, never wanted to be a part of that. ..

Chris’ Story

Everyone’s different, so every step [of Alcoholics Anonymous] might hit somebody a bit differently. That first step really hit me, but that ninth step was a big one — that’s making amends…

Michael’s Story

I emancipated myself from a group home when I was seventeen, got my own place. Two months later, I finished high school. I was working at a car wash, didn’t really know what I was doing with my life. And then I was introduced to meth. It always starts out fun. Then it ends up being fun with consequences. And then it’s all just consequences. …

Dewayne’s Story

I wake up at three. I leave my house maybe five minutes to five or something like that. And I’ll be on this corner by five after five. And then I wait there until someone comes and opens the door to the Dining Room. Then I go down there and set up the volunteer kitchen…

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