Rybka and Anderson are both participants in St. Cloud State University's new residential life program called the Recovery Community. The Community offers support resources and special living arrangements with other students who maintain an alcohol and drug free lifestyle.
"My story is Thaddeus' story, and his story is mine," Anderson said. "In the six months we've lived together, we've become best friends. The camaraderie and the bond that we make as people together when we're growing is unparalleled. It's something you can't find anywhere else."
Their bond is a result of their shared need to find themselves.
"I found God, and I realized I needed to get my life back in order. I looked at myself in the mirror and I knew, 'This is not who I am'," Rybka said about his decision to make a change three years ago. "I had no idea who I was when I was using. Now I know who I am."
Anderson admits he's still trying to figure out exactly who he is, but his friend Rybka assures him, "You'll get there."
The two are hoping for a new roommate. Rybka said, "I see so many students struggling out there."
Anderson and Rybka hope their story will inspire others to change their lives for the better.
by Natalie Davis