Bobby Hayden Jr. on addiction and recovery

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - "My life just was a spiraling staircase, and I couldn't find a way out," says Bobby Hayden Jr.

Hayden is a formerly homeless rock star from Evansville. He sat down with us to share his personal journey of addiction and recovery in this story of hope.

Finding fame at the age of 8, Hayden's first addiction was to attention and applause. His rock and roll career took him to Los Angeles.

When the thrill of success was not enough, he turned to a harder vice.

"'Sex, drugs, and rock and roll' took me to a very dark, dismal place," says Hayden.

A place that really was not a place at all, rather a card board box.

"I was a heroin addict who injected heroin 10 times a day, and I stood on the side of the road with a sign that said 'I will work for food.' This became my life living in this card board box. I didn't take a bath for a year at a time," says Hayden.

Hayden says a man once told him about Jesus, but it fell on deaf ears.

"I found myself in a dumpster one day, and I was injecting heroin, and I was eating the food that was in the dumpster, and my legs were scarred from all the injections, and I hit what you call rock bottom," says Hayden.

Hayden's recovery led him to renew his career, spreading hope to addicts across the country. His resume travels with him wherever he goes.

"I have the scars to prove it. My legs look like I've walked over a land mine," says Hayden.

"Working with the addicts and the homeless too I've come to see the world from their perspective, and I think we all need that more in our lives in one way or another," says Lexi Laconi.

Together, Hayden and pianist Laconi spread acceptance through Cardboard Box Ministries.

"We just meet them right where they're at and love them back to life," says Hayden.

You can catch Hayden Tuesday night. He is speaking about his journey from addiction to recovery.

The event is free and open to the public. It starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Gathering Church in downtown Evansville.

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