Greg entered Pathway Society, Inc’s program after serving a ten year prison sentence for possession with the intent to sell methamphetamines. While in prison, Greg entered both AA and NA programs and he began his time at Pathway in June 2010, having been clean and sober for five years. Greg says that entering Pathway when already in recovery allowed him to further benefit from their programs and mission, and to fully understand himself on a deeper level. Prior to his participation in the live-in program at Pathway, Greg says he was sober “but I didn’t work on me and my character defects. Drugs were only 10% of the problem.”
Greg came to realize that he tended to use drugs because “I didn’t want to feel”, which he’d never understood before starting his work at Pathway. In covering his emotions with drug abuse, Greg had perpetuated a chaotic downward spiral. Though no longer using when he arrived at Pathway Society Inc, Greg had a lot of self discovery to do in order to help him stay clean for life. With counseling and group classes, Greg began to uncover his past for the first time. Growing up in a dysfunctional family with a physically and sexually abusive alcoholic father, Greg had many past wounds. Greg says that “in recovery I found the more you talk about what happened to you the more power you take out of it.”
It was in group sessions that Greg recognized that many people who suffer from alcohol and drug addiction have been through trauma in their lives, and he explains that “Pathways tries to tap into it and uncover it, [to show] that you’re not unique, you’re not the only one that happened to.” Solidarity is fostered at Pathway Society, and forming a kinship with others seeking recovery is encouraged. It was those feelings that encouraged Greg to continue his work with AA and to sponsor others in the program. Greg is thankful that Pathway House served as a safe-space where he could look inward and begin his mental journey towards remaining sober for life. Greg explains that when you’re in “recovery, the world is not really there”; but that the structure of Pathway Society’s classes and the job assignments served to build Greg’s responsibility. The “rules, boundaries, and limitations” of Pathway Society were a relief to Greg, who felt that he was being prepared to enter the real world.
Now clean and sober for over ten years, Greg lives in Hayward and continues to carry out his probation until December of 2015. Greg says “I try to be polite to everybody…I’m being as normal as can be and abiding by society’s rules.” Greg attends AA meetings six days a week; he works in an auto-shop, and has a good relationship with his mother and sister. He also has a girlfriend, whom he lives with. He says “it still amazes me that in the end, I’m clean and sober.”