Imagine being a 5 year old and not believing you are loveable or even just okay the way you are. That is how Cody has felt. Cody said “I desperately needed connection, belonging and love” and felt that I had to be someone I wasn’t in order to get it, so I was always in conflict. Cody is gay and HIV positive. He started using drugs and alcohol at the age of 16, seeking love and acceptance. Instead he found addiction which he has battled for much of his adult life.
In 2010, at a very low point, he connected to Sobriety House, which in turn connected him with Bayaud Enterprises and Lynda Drake, an employment specialist. He was able to connect with Salvation Army, get work and get clean and for a time that worked. Eventually though, still plagued by shame for who he was and the feelings of being unlovable, Cody began to slip back down. He quit his job and retreated into addiction.
Hitting a new low Cody walked into the doors of Bayaud once again. He remembers Lynda (Job Developer, Bayaud) telling him “You can do this. You have done it before” and he also remembers the feeling of not being judged, of just getting help and guidance. Cody said, Lynda and Adrianne worked together to get him a room that first night and in the future weeks supported him in many ways. This time was different. Cody said “I can’t get stuck in the rooms of recovery but I have to do something with my life now.” Cody got involved with MHCD and 2Succeed program and has acknowledged his depression, shame-based trauma and PTSD that were all contributing factors to his addiction. Through EMDR and other work, Cody has been able to find the little 5-year-old boy who just wanted to sing, dance and play dress up. Cody is now taking improv classes and working as a cook for 2Succeed under the mentorship for Candice (Chef, 2Succeed).
He said “Bayaud always made me feel safe” a feeling that Cody has struggled to find in other places in his life. He said “Bayaud’s one-on-one approach and humanistic attitude has made him believe that love and acceptance is possible.”
He now feels a passion and engagement with life at 53 that he has never felt before.
Cody we are rooting for you, your continued recovery and getting housing in the next 60 days! Our lives are constantly evolving.
Cody Recommends Books and Programs:
“The Velvet Rage” by Allen Downs