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Tom's Story

“I’ve been following up on my doctor’s appointments and taking care of my health more.”

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Twelve Years & Counting

Since starting his journey with Cazenovia Recovery, Tom has remained free of alcohol and drugs for twelve years. A major part of his recovery has been self-help meetings, which he attends every day. Through these meetings, he learns how to deal with cravings and is able to discuss what life is like in recovery. Talking with his sponsor is a huge help, too. “I go by his experiences,” he explained.

Tom first sought help from Cazenovia Recovery at New Beginnings, our former community residence located on Buffalo’s west side. Tom’s friend was in the program at the time and encouraged Tom to join him. After he completed New Beginnings, Tom advanced to Supportive Living for a few months. He became more confident in his independence and eventually moved into an apartment in our Housing program. Throughout his stay with us, each of our levels of care fostered and encouraged Tom’s self-help connections.

While Tom has been successful in his recovery, the last decade hasn’t been without challenges. He was laid off during the recession, had a car accident that impacted his ability to work, and has confronted medical issues. Thanks to encouragement from self-help meetings, Tom maintains a positive outlook and has still remained drug and alcohol-free. He’s also focused on living a healthy life. “I’ve been following up on my doctor’s appointments and taking care of my health more,” he said.

Self-Help & Housing

Currently, he’s receiving Housing services from us. Residents in this program receive assistance with rent for their apartments throughout Western New York. Tom sincerely appreciates the attitudes of the program’s staff, as well. “They’re very caring and supportive,” he said. “They’re really there for you.” In addition to helping out with issues related to substance use, our Housing staff assist residents with daily living and budgeting skills. “They keep me on my toes about paying bills and with keeping my house in order,” he explained. Tom also takes advantage of the relapse prevention and vocational services offered in the program.

Tom has done a great job integrating lessons learned in self-help meetings into his services at Housing. He also wants others to know that people with substance use issues can get better. “We can get help and we can get a better life,” said Tom. “We’re not bad people. It’s a disease that really hits people hard.” He hopes that sharing his story might help someone in recovery. “I know everyone doesn’t get it, but hopefully people will start to listen,” he said.

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