Defined (video)

Shame: we’ve all experienced it. How would you define it? And how can we move beyond it?

Watch as recovering addicts give brutally honest definitions of shame, vulnerability, and hope – showing how the path from shame to hope leads through vulnerability, not around it.

Produced in collaboration with Mozell Films.

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“My sobriety date is my humanity date”

"When we're children, and our parents tell us not to touch the stove, we touch it anyway… And that's how I feel alcohol was. It was a part of my journey, much like a snake; I respect it, and it's not gonna be a part of my life anymore. I often say that my sobriety date is my humanity date. It's when I became a man again. It's when I became human, and I was able to love myself and love others through the love of God in Christ. My car is always open, and any man that wants to go to a meeting anywhere in the area can get in my car. They just have to come and do it, they have to want it. And we go all around Maryland. I tell the guys that we have the opportunity to change one life today, to make one person feel loved. And we take that forward to different churches and different meetings, and it's starting to come around where those faces are ending up here (at HUM). We have the opportunity to show through our mistakes, with the grace of God, how to give back and take some humility out of it all." —– Drew, 571 days #sober, is #givingback as a staff member and fellow human being at HUM Check out Drew and 2 other men working #step12 in the video link in our profile! #soberlife #recovery #love #heardatHUM

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“…That’s when true forgiveness became physical”

“I was an angry person, filled with a lot of hate. The source of my pain was growing up in a very violent household. I watched my mother take brutal beatings, constantly. It was normal for me to see that… and I developed a deep hatred for my stepfather. When I got around 11 or 12 years old, I started plotting how I would kill him. The hate was really deep-seated, because my mother was my everything… Shame and guilt set in, because I couldn’t help her. I wanted to help her so bad, but I was too young to do anything about it, and it left me feeling real powerless. It’s almost indescribable the hate that I had for him. I was coming home, and I didn’t know that my stepfather was suffering from stage 4 cancer. I went to visit my mom, and when I stepped inside the house and looked across the table, I saw my stepfather sitting there. But he didn’t appear to me as the man I’d always hated. At that moment – and to this day I can’t really describe what took place – but I come to feel and believe that God allowed me to see him through His eyes, and at that moment, the hate was transformed to forgiveness, and I found out that forgiveness is just as powerful as love. And in his last days, the man that I swore to hate, that one day I was gonna kill, I was changing his diapers. I was washing him, bathing him, I was carrying him literally in my arms… I really had it in my heart that I was gonna kill him. But God transformed that hate, and allowed me to see that man for who he is – one of His children. And I was always asking for people to forgive me for all the things that I did, but I wasn’t gonna forgive him. And that’s when true forgiveness became physical and took on a form. It wasn’t just words, it was real. Forgiveness became an action. Just as love is an action, I found out: so is forgiveness.” —– Wayne, 594 days #clean and #sober, shares his amazing story of #forgiveness and #love #soberlife #family #abuse #hate #shame #forgiven #forgiving #loveisaverb #heardatHUM

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Recap: Videos, photos, and music from our 2016 Banquet

This past Sunday, we gathered at Martin’s West to celebrate all the men who have graduated in the past year. If you weren’t there, these videos, songs, and photos will give you a taste of the event – and if you were there, it will bring back good memories!


Here’s a highlight reel of the event, featuring graduates, clients, and supporters of HUM:

Watch all the videos we premiered at the banquet (plus a few more) here:

Videos Debuting at our 2016 Banquet

Wayne’s interview:

Aaron and Drew’s interviews:


We did not capture high-definition videos of complete musical performances, but we did record the audio! You can listen to our choir and band’s performances here:


Thanks to Skip of Jenny Beck Photos for these event pics:

Videos debuting at our 2016 Banquet

Today is our 2016 Graduation Banquet – one of the most memorable moments of the year for us at Helping Up Mission. We partnered with Mozell Films to produce new videos, and today we’re releasing them to the world!

A Community of Hope

This video is an overview of who we are and what we do.

Giving Back

This video highlights the recovery stories of three men – Wayne, Aaron, and Drew – as told by their loved ones.


Recovering addicts give brutally honest definitions of shame, vulnerability, and hope – showing how the path from shame to hope leads through vulnerability, not around it.

The Serenity Prayer

Many people are familiar with the first stanza of the Serenity Prayer, written by Reinhold Neibuhr. But have you heard the whole thing?


We just released an ebook/audiobook collection of poems written by our men. Go to our poems page to download it for free!

I couldn’t live with it and I couldn’t live without it

“Opiates were my drug of choice – raw heroin. I couldn’t live with it and I couldn’t live without it. I had been doing really out of character things –I had lost the house to bankruptcy, lost my job, totaled my vehicle – my life was falling apart and snowballing out of control. I stayed at HUM for the first time for 5-6 months. I thought I was OK, but I only stayed clean until my first paycheck. I learned that relapse doesn’t have to be the end of recovery. Fear keeps a lot of guys from making the decision to surrender. There’s embarrassment and shame. Getting over the guilt and shame, and coming back through the door of HUM was part of a spiritual awakening for me. God’s really been working in my life and people can see that. It’s brought my family together – we’re all attending church together on Sunday, which has been remarkable. I don’t react to things the way I would in the past. In the past when traumatic things happened, I would have used. Not today. I don’t deserve and couldn’t repay anyone for what I have now. But I’m becoming the person that God intended me to be.” —–Matt, 365 days #clean and #sober Map who's running in the next year's Boston Marathon! You can read his story, or listen to Matt’s interview with Pastor Gary, at the link in our profile: #grace #runner #runninglife #marathon #bostonmarathon #addiction #shame #heroin #opiates #surrender #heardatHUM

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Read Matt’s full story here.