By Jeremy Reynalds, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO
Joy Junction Inc.
There’s no easy solution for those walking the road to recovery.
Most of our Joy Junction guests didn’t end up in their current situation overnight, and it usually takes a while for them to get back on their feet again. Sometimes it takes two or three-or even more-attempts.
That’s the case with Robin Mosco, 56, married to his wife Charlotte, 55, for 15 years. They have two sons, Tim, 14, and Elias, 10.
Both Robin and Charlotte are now members of Joy Junction’s Christ in Power life recovery program. Tim and Elias are both in gifted programs in local schools.
So what happened that Robin and Charlotte ended up back at Joy Junction again? It’s a long story.
Although Robin has worked hard for his entire life, medical issues currently prevent him from working and he’s now facing surgery.
Robin said he’s suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from a schoolyard accident when he was about nine, and “as is common with PTSD, I was also a drug addict for the past 40 years.”
Although mostly housed for a number of years after their marriage, Charlotte, from The Democratic Republic of Congo and applying for permanent residency in the United States, developed some serious mental health challenges which in July 2012 resulted in her having to leave the family for a while.
That took a serious emotional toll on Robin. He was barely making ends meet, and each shift at work was a struggle.
In July 2012, Robin said, he started using meth again. “Not just a little, but a lot and high grade.”
He said, “I let another woman move in with me, and she took me back to my old habits. We spent $13, 000 dollars on drugs and alcohol and basic essentials. It was a disastrous plan. I felt like a total failure to my wife, my boys and myself.”
Robin said he was in constant pain and barely feeding his kids. “Now I had blown $13,000 in 401k money trying to start a new career path very unsuccessfully. Broken body and broken in spirit.”
Robin said it got so bad he was suicidal. He started preparing his boys for life without daddy. His voice cracking as he struggled to talk, Robin told me, “ I was trying to impart as much wisdom as I could to them, and tell them that they would be okay if anything ever happened to me.”
He added, “I couldn’t be any worse that what I was doing, hanging with dangerous people and doing dangerous things. Life is simplified and easy when you don’t (care any more).”
Robin said the result was a destroyed body and a “twisted and bent” mind.
However, an early commitment he made to Jesus was still there. Robin said, “Through it all I had a certainty within me. Jesus loves me, God loves me. I am forgiven my sins by the blood of Christ.”
But there was a battle raging within Robin. The enemy was fighting for his soul. On one hand, Robin said, “Playing John Q Citizen was an abject failure with not much to show for it. So I thought perhaps I should go back. Go back to the street life that I had been so good at, or so it seemed.”
But there was a tugging at his heart, Robin said. “I knew God loves me and forgives me. I know the only reason I am not dead or doing life without parole is because God has kept me safe. He has a plan for me. So I realized God’s Hand at work.”
Robin said he still wasn’t quite sure about the future with his wife. However, he said, he decided to rely on God (instead of himself) and focus on his family.
Charlotte was still in El Paso, and with appropriate medication and the Hand of God, appeared to be getting better. Robin drove to El Paso and brought her back to Albuquerque. They arrived back in Albuquerque on April 23, with no money and nowhere to stay.
A friend offered to help the family for a while, but after a month they needed somewhere else to stay.
Robin called me and asked if the family could come back to Joy Junction. I agreed, and after things went well for a while, they were accepted into the shelter’s life recovery program.
Robin’s health issues are now being addressed, Charlotte is in ongoing treatment, and the kids are doing well.
Robin said he and Charlotte have a daily devotional time together. He added, “Struggles are daily, but they have always been and they always will be. With the level of commitment Charlotte and I have to God … we are certain we will win the prize Christ has promised us.”
I asked the couple where they would have ended up without Joy Junction.
Robin didn’t hesitate to answer. “Childless, because the kids would be in foster care and on the streets totally homeless.”
Charlotte said she would have been dead long ago without Joy Junction. “You have helped feed me and keep me alive.”
Robin said that without the “nurturing and stability” offered at Joy Junction, his kids wouldn’t be “the good young men” they are.
That being said, I wondered what the boys thought of life at Joy Junction. Elias thought about the answer for a minute, and then said, “Being at Joy Junction is kinda cool, but challenging in a good way.”
When I asked him to explain what he meant by “challenging,” Elias said carefully, “If someone tries to make fun of me, I use their words against them.”
Tim, very serious but expressive and animated, said “The best thing is the diversity of the people.”
The worst thing? Tim said that Joy Junction is so far away from town, it takes an hour to get anywhere.
Robin wanted to finish the interview by thanking the donors who keep Joy Junction going. He said, “You have no idea of the miracles that are done at Joy Junction, both small and mind blowing miracles.”