“I thought I would die a pill head.”

That was one of many destructive thoughts going through James Allen Bradley’s mind as he was sitting on his couch in the fall of 2012 at 47 years old. Fired from his job because of an addiction. No family of his own. Living off unemployment that was running out. Eating oatmeal two or three times per day because he didn’t have money for food – only for the five to 18 Xanax pills he was taking per day.

He calls it the darkest day of his live. He realized he’d wasted his life living check to check, high to high. James also been battling depression, and it was particularly bad that day. He thought of suicide as the only way out, then he heard a voice whisper “That won’t please the Lord, either.”

Finally, he reached out to a couple of men from church. One of them helped James obtain a treatment voucher from Operation UNITE and enter a long-term residential recovery program at Chad’s Hope. He graduated from the program in 2014 and has been working there as a residential staffer.

James says that it took four or five years before he was completely free of sometimes thinking of himself as his old, addicted self. He lives and works at Chad’s Hope and is known as the Chad’s Hope guy. James is involved in Celebrate Recovery programs across the region and often receives phone calls from people who struggle with addiction. His life is Christ-centered and recovery-centered.

“I thought I would spend eternity in a bad place, so I stayed high to block it out. Now, everything is centered around the Lord. It’s been awesome.”