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Brian Addison, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers
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Brian Addison, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers

My Story: Brian Addison

I spent over ten years in the U.S. Army as a military policeman. Several deployments made me face difficult situations, but didn’t prepare me for the civilian world and the challenges I would face there.

When I left the military in 2001, I had several jobs in the restaurant field but was unable to maintain any of those jobs for a significant period of time. I began using drugs and alcohol to deal with my mental issues and to cover up feelings of doubt, displacement and anger.

I began going to college and graduated from Columbus State University in August 2007. Upon graduating, I immediately entered law school. I left there in April 2008 with two babies and a new wife. Things began to spiral downward, and I began to have extreme difficulties in my marriage, with substance abuse and in all areas of my life. I was unemployable, defeated and unable to do pretty much anything.

When I came to Goodwill Industries® of the Southern Rivers, the counselors here related to me on a personal level. They began to show me how to do new things like dealing with people and learning new work skills. I learned how to be accepting, humble and patient. They taught me new attitudes, like helping others and being grateful.

Brian Addison works

Brian Addison works in his office at the independent living facility where he is employed.

Upon graduating from the Goodwill® program, I began working on my résumé and was referred to a job at an independent living facility. I aced the interview and began a part-time job in their accounts payable position. I was very grateful to have it.

After being there one month, my boss called me into the office and offered me a full time position as their occupancy specialist. The job was extremely difficult — I had to learn a new job and skills set — but Goodwill had given me the basic tools to succeed and be open to different ideas and ways of learning things.

With this new full-time job, I was able to do things like get a car and valid driver’s license, and began a new life in church and a 12-step program. I try to carry these attitudes of willingness and acceptance throughout not just my work life, but also my personal life. I now try to be the best parent and person I can, and to ensure that I continue my personal recovery and help others along the way.

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  • Bilie Mae Clark
    November 11th, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Dear Brian,
    I would like to thank you so very, very much for serving our country. It bothers me though that thank you is not enough but it’s all I know to say.
    Also, congratulations on your new job and you will do excellent, I know that because the Man upstairs told me!!!!!
    Once again God Bless You and Yours.
    These COLORS DON”T RUN!!!!!
    Billie Mae Clark

  • Tashya
    November 12th, 2010 at 2:55 am

    Thank you so much for your service. I know how difficult it can be to come back. It is encouraging that you are pushing on and trying to regain what you sacrificed for our people, your peace of mind. But I thank you from the very depths of my heart; for your sacrifice gave my family and I just that, peace and security. I pray God will give you a life full of joy and peace my friend. Thank you Hero, thank you :)

  • marcia
    November 14th, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Brian: I am also a vet and work with many of them. I have known men that were POWs and many from Viet Nam that had alot of issues. I am proud of you because you knew you needed to take control of your life. Thank God For Goodwill and they have a program to help folks get back to where they belong. God Bless You Brian and thanks for sharing your story. Marcia

  • stacey hula
    November 30th, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Brian…first of all thank you for your sacrifice to our country and our freedom. Our freedom is taken advantage of by many who will never know the depths of anquish and dispair you must of faced through-out the past few years or more.

    Lastly, I’d like to say welcome to recovery. Learning to live life again can be challenging; yet if you embrace it, freeing.

    Happy Holidays!!!

  • Clarence Allen
    April 4th, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Brian, if you only knew how proud I am of you and your relentless attitude of not giving up. It’s not that you didn’t want to at times (like many of us), but you just kept going! Stay encouraged!

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