For March 2022, Fellowship RCO would like to recognize

Manny Mesa

My name is Manny and I’ve been in recovery for 3 and a half years. At age 13, I tried my first prescription opioid and that started my life on a long, dark road that turned into 15 years, more than half my life, battling a vicious opioid addiction. More than half my life, hurting the people that love me the most, losing good jobs, in and out of jail, and constantly in risky and dangerous situations, all to feed my addiction. In 2016, I was being released from jail with no where to live. I was tired of doing the same old things and ending up in the same old places. I called Fellowship RCO Recovery Residence before my release date, did a phone interview, and was accepted into Fellowship RCO’s Recovery Residence program. 

My first stay with Fellowship was brief, I was there for about 4 months before my girlfriend at the time got pregnant. I used that as a reason to move out, prematurely. It wasn’t long before I was using again. I stayed out for about a year and a little after Xxavier was born, I found myself calling Fellowship RCO for help again. I knew that Fellowship RCO had a great program in place and that was where I wanted to be. This time I was at Fellowship RCO a little bit longer, but I’d be lying if I said I totally gave into the program. I did the things that were convenient for me and skipped on the things suggested that weren’t as convenient. About 6 months in, my life got shaky. Bad things were happening, and I didn’t build the tools necessary to cope, accept, and push forward through them. I left Fellowship again and started, what later I would realize was, my “last run.” This time I was only out for about 2-3 months when I came to the realization that I was on the brink of dying. I was watching people overdose and die around me, just waiting for my turn.

I remember calling Kyle from Fellowship RCO directly and begging for help. I remember saying plainly, “I’m going to die here, I need to come back. I’m ready to change. What do I have to do?” Kyle told me, “stay clean for 3 days, when you can pass a drug test, we have a spot for you.” That was the beginning. August 18th, 2018, I self-detoxed in bed, shaking, aching, and starving, for 3 days, then showed up to Fellowship RCO Recovery Residence. For the 3rd time, dying inside, and I was embraced with love and understanding. These were people that already gave me 2 chances and could have classified me as a lost cause like everyone else, but they didn’t.
Through Fellowship, I was introduced to 12 step programs. I did almost 90 meetings in 90 days. In those first 90 days, I was blessed to meet my sponsor Bill. Bill was the first sponsor I took seriously and did EVERYTHING suggested by him. We didn’t just read the Big Book; we learned the Big Book. We went to meetings together and did service for AA together. I met great people along the way and built life-long relationships with amazing brothers in recovery. I sponsored other men in recovery and never turned away from offering a helping hand or listening ear to a struggling addict. I eventually ended up as a house manager for Fellowship RCO’s Recovery Residence and staying for almost 3 whole years. The memories created there are priceless. They constantly remind me of how beautiful life has become. Fellowship RCO introduced me to 12-step. 12-step brought me to Bill. Bill taught me how to build a relationship with a higher power. Today, maintaining that relationship with my higher power is what has kept me from going back to my old ways. 

I’ve grown from low life, house hopping, robbing and stealing, two-time convict;

To a husband,

a father,

a brother, student, branch manager, and active member of my community.

This is a miracle created by the program of Fellowship, the program of AA, and my relationship with my Higher Power. I am forever grateful for Fellowship Recovery Community Organization, Kyle, Bill, Dan, and all my brothers I made along the way. Because of the gifts I received thus far in my recovery, I was able to support my wife when her career path led her toward a position that would require a move away from Fellowship RCO. Because of the tools I have, and the growth I was able to experience in early recovery we were able to get our first house, and we are extremely grateful for all the gifts that recovery has brought us as a family, especially the connections that helped us get to where we are today.

Thanks for allowing me to share my experience, strength, and hope.

We do recover!