My name is Gerald Gerard, but I go by Jerry. I was born here in Grand Rapids 73 years ago at Butterworth Hospital 5th floor. 2 years ago I had a triple bypass surgery there, though I was born on that floor, I thought I might die on the same floor.
For about six months after this surgery I had taken up smoking marijuana on a frequent basis and consuming marijuana in edibles, I did not get the high I was looking for so I kept buying more, still no satisfaction. I was squandering my money away, eventually borrowing $750 per month from my checking account. I started each month with a $750 deficit.
I eventually could not afford rent, still a small voice told me to come back to Mel Trotter and get into the recovery program.
The reason that I could listen to this voice was because I had been here once before from June 2014-March 2015, while I was here I volunteered and continued to volunteer two years after I left, everyone knew me and I knew I could come back and recover.
I put my furniture in storage and literally ran to MTM, I was an addict at the end of his rope who needed divine intervention, but there is more to my story!
Mel Trotter Ministries Step-Up program is for drug and alcohol recovery, and that’s the program I sought out and got myself enrolled in. My opinions on recovery were challenged and changed. The staff and advocates make it obvious that they will work with you in your attempt to recover. When I first joined the program, I felt I knew all there was to know about recovery, and I thought to myself, “I got this!”
I learned quickly that wasn’t the case. Recovery takes careful planning and strategic measures to conquer your addiction, I was so crabby, and disagreeable with everyone. I didn’t much like people at that time when I entered the program. I discovered that my recovery could not be possible without help from others who are also in recovery, so I began to rely on their strength. I began to see the benefits of having a support group during my recovery process.
While here I have had a wonderful renewed interest in Jesus Christ, and I don’t want that to stop!
My attitude and life perspective was greatly changed. While here I have had a wonderful renewed interest in Jesus Christ, and I don’t want that to stop! MTM is an extension of the love and compassion of Christ. Had I not come back to MTM I would be completely immersed in a drug addicted death spiral, I would eventually need my drug more than I needed food, and that was an eye opener.
While here at MTM, through counseling I was diagnosed with having adult ADHD, a very eye opening diagnoses, it shed a lot of light on life’s behaviors and gives me confirmation that there are good reasons for my behaviors in the past (I am not a rotten person). Because of the love and support, and the fact that the staff, advocates and the program leaders are equally invested in my recovery, I want to continue to volunteer here on a full time basis after I establish my home. I am currently in the men’s pilgrimage program, which is part of the restoration program, and soon I will be moving into my new apartment complex, it is beautiful and so much more than I ever expected I could have…God is good! I am also involved in the savings program here at Mel trotter, and have put away enough money to ensure that I am covered on the expenses needed to move into my own place and make it my home.
I adore the loving and very hard working staff and advocates here at MTM, they are seemingly tireless and always ready to help. They inspire me to give back of myself. I appreciate all the donors, large and small for giving to Mel trotter, and helping to change lives.
I have made connections with the Christian community of De’colores to ensure I stay connected with the Christian community. I just recently volunteered on the men’s retreat and was able to witness transformations in the lives of others who are in the recovery program!
My life verse is Galatians 2:20 “ I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”