Phil’s Story

My name is Phil Tyler

I started using drugs and partying at a young age to fit in. I moved to Minnesota from Louisiana at 15. I talked with an accent. Starting my freshman year in Minnesota was not easy because of my accent and being new. My life was very unstable. My parents drank. I saw that and experienced abuse at an early age. I don’t really think I knew what love was unless it was from my aunt or my grandmother. As a kid, I felt like no one wanted me. I felt ashamed of my situation, living in hotels with my father when all my friends had places to call home. So I found acceptance and purpose through using and selling meth and other drugs.

Because of my own decisions and my addictions, I have been to many places: prison three times; six stints in treatment, and jail over fifty times. I felt hopeless. My addiction caused terrible pain to anyone around me. I was an influencer of darkness and sin. While in Minnesota Correctional Facility Stillwater (MCF-STW) serving 51 months for 1st-degree burglary. I was constantly in trouble for drinking and ended up isolated from the rest of the population and placed in Segregation (SEG). This was my 3rd time in prison and was sent to SEG for the same things that brought me into prison: drugs and alcohol. Things needed to change.

Change can happen.

On Oct 15th 2010 I went into The Atlantis treatment Program in MCF-STW and have been in recovery ever since.  I was hopeless and needed help. I decided that I would surrender to the Atlantis program. I might as well listen to them because I felt like my track record showed me I had no clue how to stay out of trouble. I started to listen to my heart and ask for suggestions to my mentor and counselors. 

I decided to go to a Christian transitional house while when I was released. This was my 3rd time released from prison and this was the first time I did not celebrate with a bottle like I had always done in the past. I started to develop integrity, something I had never understood before: doing the right thing when no one is watching. It was hard and honestly most of the choices I made early did not come easy. That’s what assured me that it was the right thing to do. I was not used to it, therefore it was uncomfortable. I started to go to meetings and got myself a sponsor. I starting to do the work that he did and started serving others. I enjoyed giving back and helping others. I learned the value of working one-on-one with someone who has been there.

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, where unto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."

1 Timothy 6:12

There is hope.

There is hope even in our darkest hours. Our trenches made us, but God’s grace saved us. 

If you would have told me 12 years ago I would be where I am today I would have thought you were crazy. God has truly transformed my life and has launched me into what feels like a new dimension. This transformation is Hope to anyone that has been in the same type of trenches as me. To anyone who has gone through the same situations and were counted out because we were addicted. This Hope that I carry with me and share with you was unexpected. I humbled myself, trusted God and made a decision. Then I followed it up with action and went out to show others how to do the same. My life was saved! You can have the same hope and through me, see that change is possible. I know that without God I am nothing. My Hope is in Him.

Stay aggressive in your pursuit to change your life. Hope to the Hopeless! And let ATO Ministries help you in your journey.

The Grace of God.

I was saved and asked Jesus into my heart when I was 14 years old. Even though I chose to go the opposite way of His path, He has never left me nor forsaken me. When I cried out to Him inside a segregation cell in prison, I was in complete desperation. My spirit was totally broken. From that day on God started working in my life. I was let out of segregation early. A complete MIRACLE. God was doing for me what I could not do for myself. When I got back to the general prison population, I got into treatment I started going to church, praying, and reading my Bible. My head was clear because I wasn’t using anymore, so I could hear God’s whispers to help me make the right choices to carry out His will for my life. By the grace of God, my life has been completely changed today! The Grace of God, the Mercy of God, the LOVE of God is out there for you too!