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"I hated who I had become."

“I am 32 years old now, so I can sum it up to 2 decades battling to get my life back.”

Most 12-year-olds are in 7th grade and summoning courage to ask someone to the dance, struggling with passing grades, or going to summer camp. Conor McClure was using marijuana daily.

Growing up in Ballard with “a great childhood [and] a lot of friends,” he excelled at baseball. Eventually, this earned him a full scholarship to college. Marijuana and alcohol offered relief from feeling awkward and unaccepted there. Years later, these habits made the short leap to being hooked on Oxycontin, ultimately spiraling into an addiction to heroin and meth.

As an adult, Conor lived a chaotic existence: hopeless and homeless with fear controlling his decisions. He admits, “I hated who I had become.” Conor’s family loved him through it all, but it was his last attempt at sobriety that brought a new champion to the fight. A case worker at the treatment facility suggested connecting with VOA, and in August 2022, he connected with that champion. Marlydann Dugger, Site Director at the Arlington Community Resource Center, made him “feel some relief, hope, seen, and heard… She goes to work every day and saves lives. She and this organization hear you, they see you, they can relate with you.”

With words like compassion, care, grateful, and impactful, Conor describes his experience at the ACRC as life changing. Support from resources to stay housed and secure allowed him to focus on recovery.

Today, Conor plans to return to being a journeyman pipe layer. His life is full. He has hope and purpose. He believes he has built “the strongest foundation possible… because of the support of VOA” to maintain his 12-step program and begin to repair the damage to himself and his relationships with loved ones.

“I found and feel a new freedom from drugs and alcohol. I could not have done it alone. Thank you for being a part of saving a person’s life.”

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