Skyler is a real-life superhero and goes by SkyMan. He feels a strong sense of serving his community through inspiration and peer support. Skyler’s sense of purpose as a real-life superhero and duty to help others is linked to the years he has spent struggling with sobriety and behavioral health issues.
At 35 years old, Skyler has been sober for the last three and a half years. He started drinking at 12 years of age after his parent separated and he went to live with his grandmother. He has had bouts of sobriety but none that lasted this long. “Relapse is a part of my story. I want a better life though, and I can’t get that live staying in substance abuse,” shares Skyler.
He became homeless two and half years ago after he moved his father into an assisted living facility. Previously they were making ends meet between the two of them, and Skyler was taking care of his father’s many medical needs. “It got to the point I realized I was robbing him of better care, and that he needed to be somewhere where they could take better care of him than I could,” shared Skyler. “After I moved him into the facility, I couldn’t do it financially on my own and became homeless.”
After bouncing between living in a car and several different clean and sober housing programs, Skyler was accepted into Horizon House, one of MSC’s homes for men in recovery. He lived at Horizon for seven months until his Section 8 housing voucher came through and he was able to find an apartment in Auburn.
“Horizon gave me stable housing and a little extra money to take care of some personal issues. The ability to have a six month lease without worrying about having to find a new place each month was amazing,” shared Skyler.
Skyler’s been taking classes towards earning his AA with the ultimate goal of someday becoming a teacher. While it has been an adjustment living on his own, Skyler is making great progress on his path to living the life he wants. He takes part in a dual recovery addiction group, which he finds helps him with both his substance abuse issues and his behavioral health issues more than a typical 12-step group. He also continues to be a real-life superhero and support his peers. “Peer support is sharing experiences, strength, and hope, as well as guiding to resources in the community,” he shares.