I recently came across a post on the Lewiston Rocks Group Page, that stopped my heart for a moment.

Hope is a funny thing. You can hope for so many things all at once. In the same thought I could hope for new tires and world peace. Hoping happens endlessly and sometimes with things we don't really need to hope for. But when you hope for something that comes from deep within or if you send hope to someone who is seriously struggling, that's when the magic happens, or at least I believe that.

Meet Shane, 43 and living in Lewiston. He posted this on the group page.

"3 months ago I was homeless living in a tent. My wife who was my best friend left me and I was about to overdose and go into cardiac arrest again. Today I am not homeless, I am clean, in a program and I start full time work tomorrow afternoon. I am posting this for anyone struggling today and who feels like you can't go on anymore. Fight and keep fighting. The drugs out there won't help anything they only make it all worse. If your struggling reach out I'm here to help anyone."

The comments started rolling in fast. At the end of the day, 548 people liked it and he had received over 140 comments made up of well wishes and fellow brothers/sisters in the fight to heal. An example comment read,

"So happy for you, your story is why mothers like me keep praying and hoping. I told my son about you, I encouraged him to stop by the rest center, I hope he does. Thank you for sharing. God Bless."

The news in L/A is often flooded with stories about over-doses and addiction related crimes, so I wanted to highlight a story that we don't usually get to see, someone who got to the other side, alive.

Shane started his addiction like many with an injury, being prescribed pain pills by Doctors. Because of his addiction, his first wife left him in Baltimore. He then met his second wife, who gave him hope for clean living and fresh start so they moved to Maine in search of a new life. Unfortunately, after being in Maine, Shane got into Fentanyl and was addicted again, which resulted in his second wife leaving him as well.

Shane says because of the loss of his 2nd wife and his drug abuse, he was homeless and living in a tent in the woods. Shane almost fatally overdosed 4 times and went into cardiac arrest. He was given Narcan 4 times.

Narcan is one of the few drugs available to first responders and the public with the capacity to reverse the symptoms of an opioid overdose and potentially save the victim’s life, according to Family Intervention.

I asked Shane what it was that helped him to get sober and he shared that it was the overdoses and his wife leaving him that resulted in him getting clean. That was his rock bottom. Rock bottoms can be different for everyone, whether they take a month or a lifetime to get to, eventually, you will hit your bottom.

Shane is now one month sober. Shane is alive. One month sober is not a long time to someone who is not in recovery but it is a lifetime to someone who is. He is early on in his recovery and should know that the battles he fights each day staying away from those deadly substances are worth it.

I will leave you with some advice he gives to other struggling with any addiction,

"My advice to others is no matter what, you're not alone. Your mental health is important and you can beat this addiction. I am always willing to help anyone struggling. You are not alone. If I can help one person, everything that I've lost and gone through, has been worth it."

Shane

It's not easy to open-up about anything that one is struggling with but the courage in doing so, inspires others to know they aren't alone and they can recover.

If Shane can do it, so can you.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction, please visit NAMI Maine, 211Maine.org, or call 211 for help.

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