Eric M. has been working for The Contributor for six years now. After battling drug addiction, depression and experiencing homelessness, Eric hit rock bottom. His story is one about facing and overcoming adversity in order to find happiness through faith and self-reflection.
“I was raised by my foster parents in Paris, Tenn. I was the true definition of a country boy. I fed chickens, rode horses and drove tractors,” Eric, 54, said. He explained that he never really knew his birth parents until later in life. Eric graduated high school then worked temporary jobs throughout his life, getting by with just enough.
Eric dated the same girl for 13 years, until one day she passed away due to heart failure. After her death, he fell into depression. He stopped caring, and did whatever he could to numb the heartache. “I got involved with the wrong people and before I knew it, I was addicted to drugs,” he said.
His life fell apart after his addiction began, and he became homeless. Eric said, “Sometimes I would sleep in my car, abandoned buildings or even hospitals.”
One morning, after years of addiction, Eric decided he was done living his life that way and began to pray. He wanted to stop doing drugs and get back on his feet.
“I woke up and just started praying. I knew it was the only way I was going to overcome my addiction, so I prayed my way through it,” he said.
Eric sobered up and began donating plasma for money. One day, while he was donating, he saw someone with a Contributor badge on and asked what it was. The person explained how the paper worked and soon after, he was a vendor.
After turning his life around, working hard as a vendor and saving up his money, Eric was able to get a roof over his head. “I am no longer homeless because of The Contributor,” he said.
“I might not be where I want to be, but I thank God that it is not where I was. All I can do is keep on keeping on.”
Eric continues to sell The Contributor and appreciates the effect it has on his life.
“God motivates me. He wakes me up to see another day. He keeps me around for a reason.”
Eric says that the best part about selling The Contributor is getting to meet so many people. He appreciates every person, and wants to thank everyone that supports him and the paper. “Thank you for supporting me all of these years, just sticking with me. Thank you for helping all of the vendors out, not even just me. I thank God for them.”
Outside of selling The Contributor, Eric loves watching movies and wrestling. One of his favorite movies is Above the Law. In five years, he hopes to be married and living “happily ever after.”
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