Austin Cruthirds

Success

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Not uncommon to any success story, mine does not begin with anything other than several failures and defeats.  I was born in Lake Charles Louisiana in January of 1987.  My mother passed away when I was only 18 months old.  My father ended up marrying a woman who turned out to be very abusive to me and my sister.  After many years of abuse one of my Aunts and my Grandmother showed up to take me and my sister to Texas to live with them.  My father came and picked me and my sister up to go live with him and another wife.  I was in middle school at the time and started to use drugs and alcohol.  I never graduated high school and shortly after being arrested for the first time at 18, we were struck by hurricane Katrina. 

The home I was living in was destroyed due to the hurricane, and so was the relationship between me and my father.  I moved to Colorado Springs with an eighty-dollar bus ticket and a sense of adventure in my heart.  Upon my arrival I managed to get a studio apartment and quite a few low paying jobs.  It wasn’t long before a “friend” introduced me to smoking methamphetamine.  This was the beginning of a 2-year binge.  I enrolled in Job Corps in northern Montana and set my mind to better my

situation in life.  After Job Corps, I came back to Colorado Springs to live with a woman I had met there.  After a short time, I then joined the Army and was off to basic training.  At the end of the deployment to Iraq, my company was tasked with moving all the vehicles from our FOB to a FOB on the southern border of the country. Upon return to the states, everything seemed to be just the way I left it.  Women were bountiful, and the alcohol flowed freely.  This was the beginning of the end to my career in the military.  I was quick to get in trouble after a long night of drinking and taking pills, and my command referred me to the ASAP program.  Before I knew it, I was kicked out of the army for drinking and failing the ASAP program.  Not long after leaving the army I began using methamphetamine along with drinking.  My relationship with my wife failed and I left her.  I came back to Colorado Springs and picked up the relationship I had with Angela but no matter how hard I tried, and no matter the consequence, I could not stop drinking.  Angela became pregnant and we had a daughter, but shortly after her birth, I was arrested in a domestic violence case.  Now I was a homeless alcoholic.  I wound up in Veteran’s trauma court after many visits to the county jail for probation violations.  I was drowning and could not see any way out but to go to prison.  Veterans trauma court offered me in-patient treatment for substance abuse.  I gladly accepted, and this is when I regained control of my life.  Upon completion of the rehab program, I came to the Crawford House and graduate the PHP program.  At this point I was ready to get on with my life and start making decisions for myself without alcohol and drugs poisoning my thought process.  I utilized all the resources available to me and had my own apartment 60 days later.  I now am working at the Crawford House as a manager and helping other veterans achieve the same thing.    

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