By the age of 15, he was making money dealing Yaba – enough to supply his own drug habit as well as rent his own home, buy a truck and a motorcycle.
By the age of 16 he’d been arrested several times, including charges for a couple of violent attacks that put his victims in the hospital.
By the age of 17, his best friend, also a dealer, had been murdered.
Now at 18, he’s recovering at New Life Foundation.
“My first impression of New Life wasn’t so good,” Benjamin says. “I was confused and lost. I wanted to cope the same way I’d always coped – by using drugs. I thought about leaving all the time.”
Gradually though, as he stuck it out, Benjamin began to realize New Life was different from anywhere he’d ever been. People were nicer, more interested in him, more open about their feelings and struggles. “I started asking myself what’s with this place?”
Benjamin made friends – the first clean and sober friends he’d had in a long time. Through Life Coaching and the Enneagram, he started to find out who he was and gained insights as to why.
He doesn’t mind saying he doesn’t like the required work at New Life – gardening, earth building, helping prepare meals – and at first he shirked his duties. But then he learned something new – acceptance. “I still don’t like it but I can accept that I have to do it,” he says.
Benjamin says New Life helped him become less impulsive and gave him tools to cope with the difficult times without drugs. “Now I’m much more likely to try to figure out what caused my bad day.”
“New Life has given me room and space to change,” Benjamin says. “I found peace here. When I leave I hope I stay at peace so I can stay sober.”
After over three months in recovery–some of the time provided free by New Life– Benjamin looks forward to going home to his family. “That’s another thing New Life taught me–to appreciate being around good people.”