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Trevor overcomes addiction, becomes house manager at Mission

Trevor graduated the Mission’s Life Recovery Program in April 2022.

Trevor graduated the Mission’s Life Recovery Program in April 2022.

He’s also working on his college degree

Moe was loose again. The 500-pound black bear had made it past two electric fence barriers to escape and now the staff at the zoo was attempting to get him safely back to where he belonged. Trevor and others on ATVs had corralled Moe near the gate and all that was left was for someone to unlock it. “I hopped off my ATV without hesitation,” said Trevor, “not because I was particularly brave, but because of my lack of self-worth and recklessness. Years of addiction meant I just didn’t care what happened to me.”

Born in Moorpark, Trevor was his parent’s first child. Though he felt very loved and supported, his childhood was a struggle. Born without the valve between his esophagus and stomach, Trevor made many trips to doctors and hospitals and was on multiple medications. “It made me grow up a little too fast,” he recalled, “because I wasn’t able to be a regular kid. I was always the outcast, the one who might have to run out of class because I was about to throw up.”

A knee injury playing soccer when he was 12 started Trevor on a long addiction to pain medication. “I was initially overprescribed and so I ended up taking the pills longer than was needed. And as often as I injured myself playing sports, I always seemed to have enough around.” And when he began drinking alcohol at 15, he remembers his parents not being too concerned since he didn’t appear to be struggling.

With his drinking still somewhat limited, Trevor managed to finish high school thanks to independent study and he left for the University of Mississippi soon after graduating. Unfortunately, whatever limitations he had placed on his drug and alcohol use were soon gone. “It was pretty much non-stop partying,” he said, “and I started using cocaine as well.” After just two semesters, he was out of school and surviving doing odd jobs but continuing in his addictions.

Brought back to California by his parents, Trevor was placed in a 12-month inpatient rehab clinic in Thousand Oaks. “I wasn’t really invested in getting sober", Trevor said, “but I managed to finish the program and stop the drugs and alcohol for a while.”

Trevor enrolled in the Exotic Animal Training and Management program at Moorpark College but by the middle of his second year he was drinking again. Because of the Covid pandemic, however, the program was shortened and Trevor managed to finish. Living again with his parents, he kept up the pretense of being sober, all the while continuing to drink.

Offered a job at a zoo out of state (home of Moe the Bear), Trevor moved to Williams, Ariz., where after a year of drinking, he found himself unemployed and struggling.

Trevor said he’s “truly happy for maybe the first time ever.”

Trevor said he’s “truly happy for maybe the first time ever.”

“At this point I was utterly miserable,” he recalled. “I was even considering suicide. I wanted to be sober, but I didn’t know how.” Reaching out to his parents again, Trevor was given few options. They would not support him financially anymore, but they would help him find a place to get better. One of his choices was Rescue Mission Alliance Ventura County. “I was really hesitant about a 10-month faith based program so I called lots of other places but couldn’t get in,” he said. “So the Mission was literally my last resort.”

Drinking to keep from shaking, Trevor packed a few belongings and drove back to California. After interviewing for the Life Recovery Program he entered in June 2021. He remembers his first reaction as “a big culture shock” because he was used to living alone and was now in a full dorm room. Soon he made friends, though, and found their support invaluable.

“I also needed the discipline and routine,” he said. “Soon I began to feel hope that I could stay sober.” After truly hearing the Gospel for the first time, Trevor began to focus on making a real change in his life. “One of the chaplains put it to me bluntly when he said that science had been my religion. He showed me that faith and science were compatible, but that it was only through Christ that real change occurred.”

After graduating in April 2022, Trevor became a Ministry Resident and was hired as Program Assistant in November of 2022, soon being promoted to House Manager. He has also returned to school and will complete his associate’s degree in psychology at Moorpark College this Fall. He then plans on taking classes at Cal State Long Beach to get his bachelor’s degree.

“I’m truly happy for maybe the first time ever,” said Trevor. “I am healthy, reconnected with my family, and have a relationship with God. I’m living a life I never thought possible.”

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