Jerry reminds us again and again of the importance of community. Born and raised in The Dalles, OR, he started drinking at 18, when his good friend died. That was the thing to do, he recalls, to numb your own pain. Immersed in a drinking culture, one habit led to another, and to other substances. Jerry soon started using drugs and became addicted to crystal meth. One day on a job site he was bitten by a brown recluse, but was worried about what going to a doctor meant if they drew his blood. A pivotal moment in his life, he found himself lying in a hospital bed thinking about his children. It was then he realized he needed to ask for help. “I was part of the sick forest,” says Jerry, “And me being a sick tree, I was affecting people around me. Not just my family members, but my community. Once I started to deal with my…mental well-being, letting go of the past, the hurts, the pain, and not relying on alcohol and methamphetamines, then I became a healthy tree.”
Let’s just talk about what’s going on it our lives.
Jerry found support in his recovery through a group called Wellbriety in The Dalles. It was there, with other people who had been through what he had been through, that he found the help that pulled him through to the other side. His journey with both addiction and sobriety has been generational; it’s affected not just himself but his parents, his wife, and his children. “We realized that we need to be the healthy forest,” says Jerry.
He urges those who are struggling to reach out, and recognizes the importance of sharing with your community, of “letting your brothers and sisters know what’s going on in your life.”
“It is possible to overcome your addictions,” he shares, “It is possible to overcome your hurts.”
Let’s Talk. Let’s Listen. Let’s Cultivate Compassion.