The Power of Redemption and the Restoration of Harrison Ervin

The Power of Redemption and the Restoration of Harrison Ervin

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REFLECTIONS: MY JOURNEY OF RESTORATION FROM SUBSTANCE USE

My story is one of gratitude and hope!  It is a story filled with struggle, humiliation, redemption and the mastery of second chances.  The Atrium Health Collaboration with the City Start Up Labs and the Restorative Pathways Program continues to play a vital role in my recovery and re-integration into society.

My story commences at the age of 45 years old, being gainfully employed and established in a breathtaking commitment to the ministry and the stewardship of service to others. However, life’s circumstances ultimately directed me down a path of destructive behavior that compelled me to experience the reality of multiple bouts of incarceration. My uncontrollable actions broke me to my worse bottom. 

It was there where I recognized a substantiated desire to break free from the chains of addition that had (so far) destroyed my life.

Freedom brought to me the fortunate associations coupled with positive relationships from such influences as the Roof Above Men’s Shelter, Running Work, Inc. and ultimately the Restorative Pathways Collaboration shared with Atrium Health and City Start-up Labs.  These programs offered a safe place for me to confront my demons, to address underlying issues and to develop the tools needed for a successful re-entry into society.

I lost a substantial life savings, personal and real property, I experienced the excommunication from my beloved Christian Ministerial associations. Having arrived at the bottom of a sad and deteriorated life, the damage of this downward spiral was efficient. I had lost the productivity of my mental, emotional, financial, and physical attributes. The obvious loss of body weight, upper and lower teeth, losing the capacity of personal transportation was devastating. Those who I once admired and looked up to, those who I personally appeared and gave support to (over years gone by)during their dark days….they failed to reach out to offer a helping hand. This was devastating indeed.

When told about the program of Restoration offered by Atrium Health, I was electrified, I jumped with enthusiasm about being accepted into this program. The comprehensive and thorough REEP Training syllabus of study and the promised Atrium Health employment enabled me to celebrate the accomplishments list below. Since my August 11, 2023, graduation from the training section of the REEP/Atrium \Health program, I celebrate the following!

  • A remarkable employment team and a job description that allows me to offer service to citizens who are fighting for physical, emotional, and/or spiritual healing.
  • The presence of an illuminating self-esteem equipped with a supporting family group, life mentors, fellow teammates, and a renewed desire to pay it forward…and to be of service to others.
  • Physical attributes include(but are not limited to)…….. Living in an apartment for the last 4 years. Obtaining dentures to replace the drug-use destroyed teeth and fillings I once endured.

  • Reliable transportation, after re-establishing an acceptable credit worthiness.
  • Financial Savings…..which renewed my efforts to maintain multiple saving platforms and accounts.
  • Re-establishment of family relationships—​reversing some non-communication lasting over 20 years.  Being able to draw and adhere to life’s boundaries. 
  • Judicial and Law Enforcement expungement of convictions listed on my legal record dating back to the turn of the century​.

Today, I rejoice in the never-ending process of restoration and the second chances that Atrium Health and others have extended to me…thus establishing a pathway to living life on life terms!

Harrison D. Ervin

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