My name is Sean Merrill. I am 38 years old and I am from Chelmsford, MA. I had a really good upbringing with a family that truly loved me. I had a daughter at young age, but went on and graduated from a vocational high school and became a licensed Journeyman Electrician by the age of 22. I met my wife and we bought our first home when I was 25. Shortly after that my brother Corey came to my house with some pills and I tried painkillers for the first time, my self-destruction began.
Over the next ten years I went to 8 different treatment centers but it didn’t help. I lost visitation rights to see my daughter, I lost my electrical license, I lost our home, my wife left me and filed for divorce, I had overdosed and been revived, I lost my purpose and I lost the will to live. On February 24, 2011 the phone call came. My older brother Bobby called me and said “Sean…Corey is dead”. He had died from an overdose. I remember going through these feelings that I could never begin to explain, feelings of grief, guilt, shame, sadness, etc. all at the same time. I remember wishing that my wife or daughter were there with me to hug. I realized I was all alone and that it was my fault. That is when I cried out and begged God to help me. I told him that I couldn’t do this alone, and asked him to please help me. I asked him to forgive me for being so selfish. Within a few months, God put Pastor Rocky McKinley in my path. He explained Jesus Christ and the cross to me. He told me that if I would accept this free gift that Jesus had already died for, that I could leave my old life and all of those bad things that I had done at the foot of the cross and I would be forgiven. He also told me something else that day; he told me that he believed in me. I hadn’t heard somebody say that to me in a long time.
That was the day that things started turning around for me. That was the day that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
Well, I fell again. I reached out to Pastor Neil Eaton and he told me about Teen Challenge Brockton, I thought that he was joking, I was 35 years old and assumed Teen Challenge was for Teens. Little did I know that I was committing myself to the hardest recovery program in the world. God helped me endure.
In May of 2014, I had been in the program for about three months and I went to the Brockton Family and Probate court for my divorce hearing. My wife told the judge “I am seeing something different in my husband since he has been in Teen Challenge, I would like to postpone the divorce.” Today, the divorce has been dropped and our family is being restored!
I graduated in May of 2015!
Today my family is proud of me. My mother, Cheryl Rayner Juaire, has made it her mission to be a voice in the addiction community and tell as many people about was God is doing through Teen Challenge and bring hope to as many as she can. She has joined and started several groups including grief support groups for parents that have lost a child to addiction and is working diligently to make sure that families don’t have to go through what we did. My beautiful wife Elizabeth and I are working through the mistakes that I had made, she has been through so much and I am so blessed to have her by my side. God has blessed us with our precious little boy Jonathon. My daughter Seanna has turned into a beautiful young woman! She has graduated high school and went on to college at Suffolk University where she is studying corporate accounting. She has accepted Christ in her life and God has begun restoring our relationship.
I am so grateful for what God is doing in my life through Teen Challenge. I have been gratefully serving at Teen Challenge and keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus. God is restoring my family and all of those other things that I had lost and I have a hope and a future!
On February 26, 2017 I celebrated 3 years clean!
The scripture that I stand on is-
2 Corinthians 5:17-
"This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"