Ben is now better than ever!
My name is Ben Martin, and I was born on April 26, 1985, in Macon, Georgia. I grew up in Perry, Georgia. This is my story – the story of how God changed a broken, lost man and restored my life.
I would like to start by saying that I love both of my parents very much. Unfortunately, they divorced when I was 3 years old, and my dad soon remarried a lady who was extremely abusive to me. She verbally and physically abused me starting at the age of 6. I remember being scared. I couldn’t understand why an adult parental figure would treat me this way when I had done nothing to deserve it, or so I thought early on. I was a child and was powerless to change the way she treated me. I only visited my dad’s house every other weekend, and it was very hard for me. I couldn’t wait to see my dad but dreaded being around her. I never told my dad what was happening to me; she did these things when he wasn’t around. I thought there was something wrong with me. It had to be my fault that she was so mean, it was something about me that caused her to be violent towards me. The abuse stopped around the age of 11 when my dad divorced her. This too, I felt was my fault. I thought I was to blame for their failed marriage.
It was during this same time that I started trying drugs. I began by smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol. This quickly became my escape from feeling anything negative that I thought about myself. Drugs and alcohol allowed me to escape the feelings from the abuse I suffered and allowed me the ability to not deal with any emotions. I became numb to anything bad in my life.
In 2017, I hit rock bottom. I lost everything in my life that had any real value. I lost my family, my business, my home, and my freedom, and almost lost my life in 2 car accidents. I lost all respect for myself, and I didn’t care if! was alive. I can remember being in my darkest hour in the fall of 2017. I was living in a hotel room, alone and asking God to please help me. I just could not live like this anymore. Two days later, I was arrested which started my road to recovery. After getting out of jail, I was accepted into the Rescue Mission Men’s Life Recovery Program. I can honestly say there is no better place to get your life together than the Rescue Mission. For a program to be successful it starts at the top, and the Mission has the best staff in the state. Every staff member genuinely cares for everyone who comes through the door. The love they show is hard to find, and I was very grateful for that. I will tell anyone who is struggling with addiction or who’s thinking about getting help that if you are still breathing, there is hope. It is very sad to me when I think back on all the friends I have lost to overdose in the past few years. If you or someone you know is in active addiction, it’s not too late. Never give up! It took me 17 years to finally get it right, and I would not trade this life for anything. Aside from giving my life to Christ, coming to the Mission is the second-best decision I’ve ever made. I graduated from the Men’s Life Recovery Program at the Rescue Mission in January 2019. I was always told that the older you get, the more time passes. Now that I am older, I find that a very true statement.
Since I graduated from the Mission almost five years ago, I have gotten married and had another child. I now have a complete family with a fantastic wife and two beautiful children, Caylee (11) and Jake (3). Life is good; God has been so good to me and my family. This coming February, I will have six years clean, and I cannot be more thankful for what God continues to do in my life.
About three weeks after graduating from the Mission, a friend of a Mission staff member was trying to sell his lawn care company. He was given my name and number. With the help of my family, I jumped on this opportunity to buy this company and have never looked back. I have been so blessed with my company that I’ve never had to advertise once and have always had more than enough work. I went from being a full-blown addict to now owning my own company. If that’s not the transforming power of God, I don’t know what is!
The two things I learned at the Mission that I still use today are forgiveness and patience. Even though life is way better now, I still make mistakes. I have also learned that everyone you come into contact with in the real world will not always do right by you. So, I still must ask for forgiveness, and I also have to forgive others even when they’re not sorry. As far as patience goes, I am still working on that. I am better than ever, but I still have room to improve-progress, not perfection. God bless, and as always, Go Dawgs!