Manny S. Alumni – Resident story

April 8th, 2020, I checked into Pathfinder of San Diego. Estranged from my wife and children, unemployable and essentially homeless, I had lost all hope of having anything resembling a “normal” existence. I was in desperate need of a safe place to sort out my life after years of daily drinking. When I arrived, I was warmly greeted by staff and other residents. “Welcome home” is what they said. That’s how I felt that day and every day after, welcomed and at home. Everyday was a learning opportunity. I learned about my disease and the physiological effects of my alcohol abuse. I learned self-awareness, and how to be present through meditation and grounding techniques. I learned how to communicate again through active listening and open discussion. I was given leadership opportunities. Accountability, punctuality, responsibility, and community were all ideas that were reenforced daily. During my stay at Pathfinders, I was introduced to the program of A.A. where I found a sponsor and begin taking the 12 steps as a new way of life. Valuable resources that were once out of reach became available to me. I was able to find a primary physician. I was also connected with Areta Crowell where I am receiving mental health care. When I completed the treatment program at Pathfinders, I was connected with UPAC where I received housing assistance. Safe housing was vital to my continued sobriety after leaving Pathfinders.

Today, I have over a year of continuous sobriety. I am free from the physical and mental dependency that once plagued my life. As a result, the pieces of my life are coming back together. I am back home with my wife and children and can be present for my family in meaningful ways. I have been able to make amends to some important people in my life, and my relationships have improved substantially, because of the work that began at Pathfinders. I have even decided to continue my education. I’m currently a student at San Diego City College pursuing a degree in Journalism, where I currently hold a 4.0 GPA! I am also a student at SDSU pursuing a professional certificate in Grant Writing. My sponsor and I still work together, and I’m still receiving care from mental health professionals at Areta Crowell. The quality of my life has improved beyond anything I thought possible. I’m able to be a father and a partner. My aspirations appear obtainable once again, and it all started because the people at Pathfinders were willing to help me. Thank you to everyone at Pathfinders of San Diego. I owe a debt of gratitude to all of you.

Manuel S.