Addicts challenged to look in the mirror
A former drug addict who has been sober for 25 years yesterday challenged young men struggling with addiction to look into a mirror and imagine what they looked like – physically, emotionally and spiritually, before drugs had taken over their lives.
Pastor Kimmie Mello, spiritual chaplain for the Harbour Light programme which helps addicts, made the challenge as he took part in this year’s recovery relay at the National Stadium today.
In the past, clients of the Harbour Light Centre held an "Around the Town Walk" which had to be cancelled and instead they held a "Power of Recovery" walk at the National Stadium.
Mr Mello joined seven other men who are in various stages of addiction recovery in passing a baton around the stadium track.
He said: “What I try to show these guys, from a spiritual aspect, is that God had planned something great in each and every one of our lives, but somewhere along the line, they fell off that course.
“I try to tell them that in addition to all of the other counselling at Harbour Light, which is excellent, make sure that they keep a focus on their higher power which I advise them to call God.”
One of the programme’s counsellors, Neal Trott, encouraged people struggling with drug addictions to first be honest with themselves.
He said: “They should look at all the resources that this island has to offer them and make an honest evaluation of where they are in that place.
“They should not justify their addiction, but look at what they could be achieving and seek help in order to reach those goals.”
A participant, who asked to remain anonymous, said he was grateful for the chance to start every day with a new sense of hope and passion for life and the world, – thanks to Harbour Light.
“I know that it takes a lot energy to walk up to Harbour Light, but the doors will always be opened to everyone,” he said.
Harbour Light is run by the Salvation Army. Major Robert Kerr, divisional commander in Bermuda, led a prayer before the start of the relay.
He said that Harbour Light aligns with the values and mission of the Salvation Army as a whole.
“The Salvation Army aims to see people be better tomorrow than they are today and we believe that this is possible through showing the love of Jesus Christ by ministering to the whole person,” he said.
“We are so excited to see these men who are on a recovery journey getting better in their lives. It truly takes a whole community to do this.”