Trees of Hope: One man's road to recovery comes full circle

Ryan Juntti
Updated: December 15, 2020 09:22 PM
Created: December 15, 2020 06:00 AM

Drug and alcohol addiction can be a dark place for many, but Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge has helped countless people turn their lives around, including Tim Bongs whose road to recovery came full circle.

"Without this program, I would probably either be in prison or not even alive," said Bongs, a program graduate at Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge.

When Bongs entered adulthood, he also entered the throes of drug addiction.

"I struggled with addiction for 12 years from ages 18 to 30," said Bongs.

The worst of it was when he tried meth. His life quickly spiraled out of control, and he hit rock bottom.

"Meth was the one drug that completely destroyed my life in a short period of time. It took six months for me to literally lose everything because of that drug," said Bongs. On June 30th, 2018 I was arrested again and booked into jail for the 10th time," he said. 

While incarcerated, he learned about Teen Challenge.

"I was facing four years in prison, and I knew I needed to make a change," said Bongs.

He took a leap of faith and entered the program.

"It was scary. I mean, some of the hardest decisions you make in life are the scariest, and it made it easier for me to make this decision because I wanted to rebuild my relationships with my family and friends and live up to the potential that I knew I had inside of me," said Bongs.

It turned out to be a lifechanging decision.

"I spent 13 months in this program, and every step of the way I would learn something new, and they were building a foundation for me to be successful after," said Bongs.

Bongs went on to graduate, and hopes to change the lives of others. He is interning at Teen Challenge, and is working on becoming a counselor there.

Now he wants others battling addiction to know even in the darkest of times, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

"If you are struggling, or if you do know someone that is struggling, reach out and ask for help because that one simple decision could mean life or death for someone with an addiction," said Bongs. "No matter how bad things are, you can recover, and you can change your life," he said.

Credits

Ryan Juntti

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