Joey is on a mission to get better so he can care for his father when he
gets older.

When Joey was 3 years old, he was adopted. “I was adopted by good people,” he said. “I was very lucky, and I had an amazing childhood.”

Joey has good memories of vacations, celebrating birthdays, and seeing his older siblings get married or join the military. His family lived in Lompoc and was “very tight-knit.”

Joey was close to his parents and they cared for him well, but as he got older, things got more difificult. “My parents did not know how to handle me,” he said. “I didn’t like to listen, and I did whatever I wanted to do.” Drugs and alcohol were not part of Joey’s teen years, but he didn’t like school, so he focused on working and buying a car. He eventually graduated with the help of online courses.

Joe started driving trucks for a living and spent many hours alone on the road. He was independent, yet all that time alone got to be too much. “I called my mom nightly,” he said. “We were very close and I didn’t like being away from home.”

“Growing up in a Christian home, I knew God was never far from me.
I’m not going to Him only when I need something, but I am praying every day.”

When Joey was 28 his mom passed away. “She kept (trying to) press forward, but the cancer spread so fast,” he said. It was a very difficult time for Joey. He had started drinking years earlier, and although he had not tried drugs in the past, he began experimenting.

Joey was able to keep a job but only worked when needed. “I started doing drugs, but it made me lazy, and I didn’t care.” He traveled to Las Vegas many times to gamble and tried living there twice before he’d end up moving back to California.

Methamphetamines became a part of Joey’s life and kept him from being “clear-headed.” He tried to stop using at times, but with no accountability or tools needed to remain sober he fell back into addiction. He could see that his widowed father was reaching a point in life where he would soon need help. “I came to the Mission because I need to be ready and focused to care for my dad for when he needs me.”

The first several weeks at the Mission were difficult for Joey as he adjusted to being in groups and sharing space with others. “It’s been hard having to adjust to being around people and it can be challenging, but I have settled in and accepted being here,” he said.

Joey’s drive to be available for his dad keeps him focused on recovery. “I know my dad wants better for me, so I want to get meth out of my life, so I can be better for him,” he said.

Joey sees that God has always been with him and being at the Mission reminds him of his childhood and attending church regularly with his family. “Growing up in a Christian home, I knew God was never far from me. I’m not going to Him only when I need something, but I am praying every day,” Joey said, “and I might worry a little bit, but at the end of the day I don’t worry (much), because I’m praying.”

With love for his family, Joey knows that he will remain committed to the recovery process. “I worry about my dad, and I am going to be better for him, so I can be close to him and take care of him,” he said. Joey is saving and plans on buying a car and getting a job after graduation, so he can be the man he needs to be for his family.