Hello, my name is Patrick Wajda and I was born and raised right here in Big Red Country. I grew up Catholic in a loving home and I had a great childhood. Drinking alcohol was a part of that childhood at family gatherings and the summer fun. Relatives would slip us kids a drink here and there and I found that I loved the taste of a cold beer.
By the time I was a freshman, I was drinking on the weekends with friends or family. I could buy beer back then on my own as I looked older than I was. By the time I was a senior, I was drinking every night.
When I moved away to college, I began to do drugs. I was hired on to a good job, I worked hard, but continued to go down a dangerous path.
I was married in 2001 and we were blessed with 2 daughters. I quit drugs but continued to drink. The alcohol was more important to me than my family which was the main cause for my divorce in 2010. I was lonelier than ever and made my situation worse by drowning my sorrows in beer and whiskey. It was at that point in my life that I realized I was an alcoholic.
I couldn’t quit, and after a 5 day blackout in June 2017, I felt like Open Door Mission was where I needed to be. I was shaking so bad I couldn’t sign the intake papers. Thanks to Pat McKernan, He told me I needed the New Life Recovery Program. I did what staff told me, followed the rules and prayed a lot. I was baptized last year and know now that with my Lord Jesus Christ, i’m going to stay sober. My old life was hell. The Holy Spirit guided me here, and with everyone here at Open Door Mission, I’ve found a new life!
My life now has done a 180. My family talks to me again and my friends support me also. The future holds great promise as long as I keep doing what the Mission has taught me. God has blessed me and I owe so much to all those here. I’ve joined the Urban Ministry Institute and have a great sponsor. For fun, I’m going to restore old cars.
My favorite scripture is Phillippians 1:6 : “Being confident in this very thing,that which He has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ!” Thank You and God Bless
New Life Recovery Program Graduate
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