Printed from ChabadLifeline.com

How I beat my bullies

Wednesday, 15 August, 2018 - 4:39 pm

 Patrick's story (2).jpg

Darkness.

That familiar pain in his forehead.

Patrick* opened his eyes. Where am I? What happened?

Another blackout. I need to lay off the vodka.

Patrick groaned. If the headache wasn't enough, the bruises from the last beatdown in school were throbbing.

Behind the curtain of a quiet teen

Patrick was sent to Chabad Lifeline back when we were called Project PRIDE. Bullied on a daily basis, he would drink himself into oblivion.

You would never suspect that Patrick had a drinking problem. He was smart, quiet and sweet. 

His home life was complicated. Patrick lived with his mother and three younger siblings. His father had overdosed on heroin and his mom worked long hours to support the family, leaving him in charge of dinner and bedtime.

Patrick was a 13 year old kid shouldering tremendous responsibility. Alcohol was his only safe refuge.

An emotional celebration

A school Guidance Counselor would save Patrick's life. She referred him to Chabad Lifeline and he met with one of our Youth Counselors.

Patrick would travel two hours for his weekly Lifeline visits. He went though dark periods, and Lifeline became his family. Through all his struggles, he always came back, and was welcomed with warmth.

August 11 marked four years of sobriety for Patrick, and he met up with Chabad Lifeline Director Rabbi Benyamin Bresinger and a couple of friends to celebrate.

"Rabbi B, all those years everybody at Lifeline was so warm and caring with me, no matter where I was," he shared at the gathering. "I learned to stop my inner voice from saying what the bullies would tell me, and being welcomed as family gave me the confidence to beat my own internal bullies."

Chabad Lifeline congratulates Patrick on four years of sobriety!

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*Names and certain details were changed to protect the privacy of those involved in this story.

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