“All my life, all I wanted was to be normal,” says Wilson, a 35-year-old guest at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. “I know when some people see me, they think I’m crazy. But deep down, I know there ain’t nothing wrong with me.”
From an early age, Wilson has struggled to cope with a variety of emotional, mental and behavioral issues. As a child, he suffered from hyperactivity and being “a naughty boy,” he recalls. Unable to control him, his parents frequently kept him from interacting in group activities, such as church. By the time he hit junior high, the only kids he felt he fit in with were in gangs and already using drugs.
“That’s when the trouble really began,” he says. “I got really wild and started getting into a lot of trouble. I was using drugs by the age of 15, and I got into a lot of fights and got kicked out of school. I never did graduate.”
After that, Wilson found himself in a mental health facility, where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The drugs prescribed for him helped him cope with his mental-health issues for a while, but that’s when he also turned to cocaine — and his life unraveled quickly. Unable to hold a job for long periods of time, Wilson turned to robbery and theft to keep himself supplied with drugs. He often found himself homeless, moving from house to house or just walking the streets.
THE PIECES FALL TOGETHER
Finally, in December 2012, Wilson came to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. “When I got into the program, I was able to get back on my medication. Then I started asking God to help me work through my problems. After that, I was able to control my mind a little more,” Wilson says. “Everything started falling into place. MRM helped me get my GED and I recently started a brand-new job at a local sausage factory! I’m so happy, I plan to stay at this job the rest of my life. This is going to be a great summer!”