Lexington, KY – When the StoryCorps crew was set up in Lexington, they brought their recording booth to a number of non-profit agencies including Lexington's Hope Center. Today we're sharing a conversation between two of the men who have come to call the homeless shelter their home while they attempt to regain their sobriety.
Because of the sensitive nature of the recovery process, we've decided to use only their first names. Rock, is 45, a native of Washington State who's been at the shelter since April. He's talking with his friend, Rodney. He's 38, originally from the Cincinnati area, who came to stay at the Hope Center in February after residing in San Diego and Las Vegas. Here they talk about family history, addictions, friendships, and finally, giving back.
Rock says he was exposed to addiction at a very young age. He remembers that his father did so many drugs and alcohol that police were often called to the house. "...so my mom would pick me up from the babysitters and we'd see the police cars and we'd have to drive over to my grandmother's".
Rodney says his experience was just the opposite. He came from a stable family where his parents "didn't even cuss". He says he was the one who rebelled after his parents divorced and his mother re-married. Rodney says home-life got worse for him after a new baby arrived. His mother became so concerned about Rodney's behavior that she placed him in rehab. Rodney says before that time, he had never touched a drug. "I met all my drug dealers in rehab".
The two then discuss how their addictions have affected their lives and relationships. Rock says he has had a lot of friends who have died because of drugs and alcohol. He says their deaths serve as a reminder of what might await him if he doesn't stay clean and sober.
Rodney says he doesn't want to go back to that lifestyle but realizes now that he and Rock are at a place in their lives now where they can help others who are struggling with their addictions. Rock believes it was fate that brought the two to Lexington and he feels the need to share his journey with newer clients.
Rodney says the way Rock conducts himself these days is an inspiration to him and the other two-hundred guys at the Hope Center. He tells his friend if you ever lose sight of that fact "I'll kick your butt".
Rock and Rodney's conversation will be archived in the Library of Congress.
Conversations from the Lexington StoryCorps Booth can be heard Tuesdays at 8:35 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. on 91.3 WUKY.