Eric Gentry, Recovery IS Possible
Hope Fund Sponsor
ARCHway believes in recovery from the disease of addiction.
Eric Gentry’s Story
Eric’s story is one of growing up with heartache and fast-forwards to the triumph he felt throughout his recovery, leading him to the life he enjoys today. Today, Eric is full of life and a passion for helping others struggling through the disease of addiction, as he now leads other men to recovery.
Codependency was a common theme in Eric’s story. During his teen years, he struggled with personal and family insecurities, anxieties about his weight, sexual orientation and performance in school, and the deaths of his beloved mother and grandmother who raised him. Eric explains, taking drugs gave him back his power after so many years of feeling powerless. But, just when his feelings of unworthiness, hopelessness and fears came to, what seemed like, a point of no return, fate stepped in – he was arrested.
It was in jail that he had that “sobering moment,” where he realized he could not continue to live his life of taking drugs – and that there was no one else to blame for his addiction but himself. He had to change.
The change didn’t happen immediately though. With little resources and no home or family, his attempts at sobriety started with living with a friend, sharing a room with her 9-year old son, to sharing a basement with another friend in recovery. And it included relapses that found him sleeping on the floor of trap houses and behind bushes in Carondelet Park, hiding from the police.
It wasn’t until he got to Recovery House where all the pieces of the puzzle came together, in one roomful of hope, that he turned his control over to the right people; people who knew what he needed, where he needed to go, and how he was going to get there.
He remembers his initial interview, sitting in front of John Stuckey and others on that first day, as they whispered about his future. ARCHway Institute funded Eric’s first two months in transitional living at Recovery House, until he was able to get into Bridgeway treatment center, thanks to a PDOA grant. He was put on the correct medications to help his recovery and medical problems.
“It takes an village,” explains Eric. “and that’s what happens when all these organizations work together. They have the power to create miracles, to change lives, to inspire and bring hope to all those struggling with the effects of addiction.”
“These organizations, medications and grants were just part of my recovery though. Transitional living took me away from active users. It focused on recovery and healing from the issues that led to my addiction, instead of simply focusing on sobriety as do many transitional living centers.”
Eric says, “the heart of Recovery House comes through the support of the men who live in the house and the peer specialists that are with them every step of the way. It comes from their 10 o’clock meetings that cut straight to the heart of the issues and barriers they are facing. It shines through the managers who have now dedicated their lives to helping those in recovery.”
Today, Eric is a manager at Recovery House and a certified peer specialist and EPICC Recovery Coach for Center For Life Solutions. He explains that you just can’t put into words the feeling you get from being part of this organization. To watch someone come into the house having just overdosed; see their progress back to sober living; to sometimes managing one of the houses or even working for the treatment center that saved his life in the first place, is a wonderfully rewarding experience.
And Eric is a clear example of this reality!
Eric ended with this: “You can’t put a price on that. You can’t wrap it up, you can’t box it, you can’t sell it. There are many people who try to recreate it, and it’s just never going to happen. There is nothing like what we have right here.”