We received this letter in the mail from the mother of a former Hickory Wind Resident. We would like to share it with you all. When our residents work to improve their lives and stay away from addiction, it radiates throughout their family and friends. We’re glad to have been able to help.
Graham was homeless at the Austin, Texas airport in December, 2010. This was the second time he was homeless and he was so scared. I remember that he called me and we cried together because we didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t help him anymore. Nothing I ever did for Graham helped him. I just had to let him go. Graham had heard about Hickory Wind Ranch and Polly Parsons and he called her not having anyone else to turn to. She actually answered the phone and talked with Graham. Not long after that someone was picking Graham up at the airport and taking him to Hickory Wind Ranch. Since then Graham has stayed sober and has flourished under Polly’s care. She gave him back his dignity and confidence. We call Polly Parsons our beautiful angel.
I’m not sure when we realized that Graham was an alcoholic. Finding a case of beer in the trunk of his car when he was in high school should have been a warning sign, but we thought it must be one of those things a typical teenager would try. About that same time he seemed to be having mental health issues. His first year of college was horrible. He was sleeping in his car and couldn’t go to the cafeteria to eat because he couldn’t stand to be around all the people. This was when he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. From 2004 to early 2010, my husband and I tried everything we could to help Graham – the best psychiatrists, the best psychologists, and every kind of medication you could think of. He was in jail for a DUI charge and served one year probation. After he successfully completed his probation, he relapsed. We finally had to get him out of our home. He was ruining our family life and his younger sister was scared of him. She started locking her bedroom door at night out of fear.
We found an alcohol rehabilitation facility in Lubbock, Texas, which Graham succesfully completed in six weeks. He then relapsed within a week of living at a sober living facility. He continued to relapse after a week at each new sober living facility until we had to move him to Austin because there were no more available facilities in Lubbock. Once again, he relapsed after one week and became homeless for the first time. He was mugged twice at gunpoint and they stole his cell phone and shoes. He was ultimately arrested for Public Intoxication and spent time in jail. After his release there were more alcohol rehabilitation centers, sober living facilities and living with friends until he ended up homeless at the airport and talked to Polly.
Graham has been sober for a year now. He has a great job and has been promoted. He is no longer seeing any mental health providers nor is he taking any medication. Graham is also getting to do what he loves most – play his guitar and sing. Thank you, thank you, thank you Polly Parsons, our beautiful angel.
-Lynn, Graham’s mother