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Corey Wants ‘A Better Life’ For His 8-Year-Old Son


Corey’s mother had him when he was 15, and he was put up for adoption at a young age. “I was given to my family, and I had a really good upbringing,” he said. “It was a good family atmosphere. I went to good schools.

“One thing I didn’t know was any family history. I am pretty sure there is some addiction history there that I didn’t know about.”

Corey finished high school and immediately entered the work force. He worked at a refinery at 21, leading crews of 15 people by the time he was 23. Then he went to four years of carpentry school and became a journeyman carpenter. “I was able to make a very good living,” Corey said. “I wanted to work outside, not behind a desk. I was part of some big projects—the Apple complex in Cupertino, the Salesforce tower in San Francisco—it was cool.”

Corey had drank at times when he was younger, but never had any issues. It wasn’t until he was in his late 20s that things took a turn. “I got into a relationship, and we were together for 10 years,” Corey said. “We had our son when I was 30. The relationship was a little bit toxic, and I started to isolate and drink more. It would affect my work sometimes, but mostly just (my mental health)—I became depressed that I was in a relationship like that.

“I would go through this routine of starting to only drink light beers, or only drinking on the weekends, to try to get my drinking under control. It was the definition of insanity: trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. It was depressing.”

Corey and his fiancée argued often. “I didn’t grow up in a family where people yelled at each other—she did,” he said. “She introduced me to that side of life. I didn’t like it, and I’d drink over it.”

Corey said they mostly shielded their son from the drama. His parents are very involved in their grandson’s life, and “when things got bad,” Corey said, “my son was able to go to his grandparents’ house.”

Three years ago, the family moved from the Bay Area. “She wanted to move to LA,” Corey said of his fiancée. “I made a call to the union and got a job. We got an apartment in Hollywood. We were supposed to figure life out, but that didn’t happen.”

Their son went to live with his grandparents, and was there for a year. Corey and his fiancée broke up. “My son is 8 years old. I wanted to do something before he got older, that would make a real difference, so I could be there for him.”

Corey had tried to get help once before. “I was in program a long time ago, but wasn’t ready for it. I didn’t have children yet. Having a son, it made me more serious. When I moved to Hollywood, I would bring my son and stepson to church a lot. We went to Hope, and we got to know everybody there. They told me about AA meetings, bible studies. I learned about this place, and I wanted to come to be sure that I provided a better life for him.”

Corey got to Renewed Hope in December. “It was hard to acclimate to the whole process when everyone was in quarantine,” he said. “As things eased up, it got easier. The classes are good, and it’s been helpful to talk to other people. Because it’s faith-based, it secures it a little more. It makes it more real for me. My faith has always been something that’s really important to me, and it helps me feel more comfortable here.”

Corey’s son is back with his ex now, and Corey should be getting visits with him soon. “I was brought up in a good family atmosphere, and I want to make sure my son has that too,” he said. “I’m here to correct the alcohol issues I have so I can be a better father.

“I look forward to getting back into the workforce, finding a place for myself, and maintaining a good life. I want to go to church and have a family again.” 

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