Colby and I grew up really close. As the older brother I always thought it was my responsibility to look out for him. We would spend a lot of time together. It wasn’t until he was about 17 that I began to notice a change in his behavior.
Slowly, he didn’t really want to hang out anymore and he distanced himself from my family and me. I could tell the group of friends he was hanging around were not influencing him well. I eventually knew that something was wrong. It took me a long time to admit to myself that he was probably doing some sort of drugs. I had seen them destroy the lives of relatives and I didn’t want to see that with Colby. I didn’t know what kind of drugs or how much, but it was the only explanation for his change in behavior.
I tried multiple times to confront him about it, but every time I would, he would deny it and we would usually end up in an argument. He eventually admitted to what he was doing but said it wasn’t a problem and he wasn’t addicted. We both got to the point where we couldn’t be in the same room without a confrontation. The Colby I knew from our childhood was gone. He was there physically, but I did not know the person he had become. Every time he would leave for the night I wasn’t sure if he was going to come back. I was just waiting for the day that the police called and said he was either dead or in jail. Eventually, something clicked and he realized the help he needed was beyond anything he could do on his own. He later agreed to go through a rehab program, but was using within a few months of completing it. I really had just about lost hope.
During his second time in a rehab facility, a friend referred him to the New Life House program. He was apprehensive to go at first but agreed eventually. I remember calling him every so often and I could tell he was improving. The old Colby was starting to come back. After about 6 months in the program I visited him for the first time. I almost could not believe the change in his behavior during that period of time. He was respectful, motivated, and responsible. His attitude became more positive, he became more optimistic about the future. This became a pattern that continued with each visit.
Little by little we began to rebuild our relationship. When he graduated the program he was an entirely different person for the better. We now have a great relationship and share an apartment. Something I never would have pictured a few years ago. He learned more than just how to be stay sober. He learned how to live and function in the world and succeed at anything he puts his mind to. I really don’t think this would have been possible without the help the New Life House program and the people who run it and I’m sure Colby would say the same thing. Thank you to all the guys at New Life House who supported and pushed Colby to get him on track to achieve his real potential.