Cy will graduate in December 2023 from the year-long program at Adult & Teen Challenge after years of battling addiction. He was born again over two years ago but kept relapsing and suffered from some mental health difficulties. “I just prayed about it and felt like the Holy Spirit led me to come to Teen Challenge,” Cy, 43, of Mentor, said.
He dealt with compulsive behavior and substance abuse, most recently methamphetamine. It started when he was about 8 when he was a victim of incest.
“It wasn’t until I was about 15 when I started smoking marijuana that I became an everyday user,” Cy said.
After graduation, he plans to pursue a chemical dependency counselor assistance certification. “I’d like to become a peer supporter, maybe even advance into doing biblical counseling or secular counseling,” he said. “I’m also an avid musician and I’d like to do stuff with that, with ministry.” Cy sings and plays guitar, bass and piano. Before coming to ATCOV, he worked in maintenance and construction labor.
“I think Adult & Teen Challenge is set up with resources — counselors, education, sermons, people coming in, altar calls, ministry. I think it’s set up in a very good manner if you want it, to establish a good relationship with Jesus Christ,” Cy said. That’s essential to begin a journey of recovery, he said.
He’s been in and out of recovery since 1999, but ATCOV is the first faith-based recovery program he tried. “It’s like night and day as far as being afraid to face the world and face people and the mental health I was dealing with,” Cy said. “I still have some issues to work out. I feel completely confident that God will have his work in me and all I have to do is cooperate.”
Before coming to ATCOV, he didn’t have that foundation, that relationship with Christ, and he suffered. “Now I feel like it’s a lot better,” Cy said. He has a better understanding of grace what he called the simple things that aren’t so simple. “The idea that God loves me and his perfect love will cast out all fear and it’s already doing that,” Cy said.
It just takes time and he needs to keep surrendering, he said. “It’s just a spiritual experience. It’s an awakening,” Cy said. “It’s a real thing. It’s not just a theory or something I’m chasing and trying to compare to other people.” That’s how it was in the secular recovery programs that Cy tried. “I can have my own relationship with Christ and help people with my testimony,” he said. He believes that’s what God wants him to do. “I’m pretty close to 100% sure that what I’m supposed to do in life is going to revolve around helping people recover from trauma, abuse, alcohol and sin addiction,” Cy said.