SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Charlie and Cody’s stories of addiction begin long before KOLR 10 called to schedule an interview.
“It takes ahold of you without you even knowing it,” Charlie Romine, a former addict of about 10 years, said.
Romine was a stranger to Cody Pickens until both men found Restoration.
“At an early age, I grew up in a broken home,” Pickens said. “My parents were alcoholics and I just thought that was the norm. So I started out drinking and smoking marijuana and graduated to harder drugs.”
Romine had a disadvantaged start to life, too.
“Started off in foster care,” Romine took us through a part of his childhood. “So I grew up in state custody. Bounced around from home to home. One thing led to another, and about the time I was 19 or 20 I started doing meth, drinking.”
Years after the partying began, they each found themselves behind bars.
“I first went to prison in 2016, ” Pickens said. “I stayed for 120 days, which wasn’t long enough.”
Romine first got caught because he needed money to fuel his addiction.
“I was breaking into places and looking for stuff I could take, ” he said. “Because money and merchandise equals meth.”
While in correctional centers, they were given a list of rehabilitation programs for when they got out. Arranged alphabetically, Victory Mission’s Restoration Program in Springfield was their last resort.
“I completely surrendered myself to Jesus Christ through the Restoration Program,” Pickens said. “They then in-turn introduced me to Freedom City Church, where I have people that walk with me every day.”
Restoration is a 12 -18 month rehab plan. Addicts live here but admission comes with requirements for volunteering, counseling, work, and church. Both men are still going through Restoration, but say it’s helping free their futures.
“I have a full-time job now,” Pickens said. “I’m saving money. I just bought a car. Everything’s started to fall into place for me.”
Romine first started abusing drugs with his kids’ mother, who is also recovering from meth.
“My son’s in the gifted program,” Romine said. “He’s in sixth grade and he’s an amazing boy. My girl is a little princess.”
They’re finding salvation in sobriety.
“When you think all hope is lost, you are loved,” Pickens said. “You have a purpose. You have a calling on your life. There’s people out there that are rooting for you and you don’t even know it.”
If you asked them a few years ago, they would’ve never thought their stories could end this way. And if you ask them today, they’ll tell you this is just the beginning.
Restoration is no easy feat, but both say having a plan focused their success. If you know someone who needs help recovering from addiction, you might consider reaching out to Restoration organizers here: https://www.victorymission.com/services/men/