It was a week before Christmas in 2014 and I was so dope sick that I didn’t know how I was going to make it through the next hour of my life. My nose was running, my eyes were watering, my skin was crawling, my legs were restless, and I needed to find a way to get high. All my bridges were burned, and my family’s patience was wearing thin. I took a “personal day” from my dead-end job and made my way back to my parents’ house. My dad came home and went directly upstairs with some cash he had taken out of his bank account for Christmas gifts. I stood perfectly still downstairs listening to the creaky wooden floor while counting his footsteps as he entered his bedroom. At this point he was hiding anything from me that had any real value. I found the envelop and stole most of the money that he was going to use for Christmas that year. I was forced out of their house and into a treatment center just four days later. It took me nearly a decade of situations exactly like this until I finally got sober. It wasn’t an overnight process and it surely wasn’t something I ever thought I would be able to accomplish. But instead of counting footsteps, I followed in the footsteps of the people that came before me. Recovery works – so please reach out if you need to follow in someone’s footsteps that was once where you are.
I don’t always give my father the credit he deserves because he has always been the glue that held my family together. He has always pulled himself up by his bootstraps and fought through any unfortunate situation he was presented with. My drug addiction put a serious strain on our relationship for many years, and it seemed like we couldn’t see eye to eye on anything. Today, I can finally say that I have the relationship with my father that I always wanted. After all, he has always been a hero of mine because of how he built a life for himself though his own hard work and dedication. Being home for the holidays and watching football together for the first time in years was one of the best Christmas gifts I could have asked for. Thanks for everything Dad.
Transformation Tuesday! Three years ago, I left my parents’ house to go to a treatment center two days before Christmas. I was in such a bad place mentally, spiritually and emotionally that I couldn’t even hold on for 48 hours and spend the holidays with my family. The next year, I spent Thanksgiving in a treatment center and was released two weeks before Christmas. I spent the holiday living in halfway house 1,500 miles away from my family. Last year I had over a year of sobriety for the first time in my life, and because I was in the right frame of mind, I was able to spend Christmas with my family and my best friend. It was the first time I was with my family physically and emotionally in a long time. My point is – if your struggling – please get help the help you need whenever you need It. Don’t put it off until after the holidays, because a lot can happen in just a few weeks. I know how hard this time of year can be for addicts and their families, so please reach out if you need some help or support. I’m always just a message or a phone call away. Prayers for all the families affected by addiction this year.
Over the last month or so I have released many articles telling my story and detailing the phases of my own personal recovery. This last piece is something I had to actively participate in while I was continuing to get sober. However, this doesn’t just apply to people getting sober, I believe this last piece of advice can apply everyone and anyone trying to make their life more fulfilling. As I have stated on multiple occasions, addiction is a very selfish and self-seeking disease. It creates the illusion that the world revolves around the person in active addiction, and blinds them to the fact that nothing could be further from the truth. I say this because I was that addict for nearly a decade, and this was undoubtedly my truth. (more…)
My first year of sobriety was unlike anything I had experienced before because it was NOT just about putting down the drugs and alcohol. This year was also about growing and developing how I treated myself. If anyone out there is reading this and still struggling with the concept of sobriety, I will try to shed a little light on what it actually means to me. (more…)
Around the three month mark of my sobriety things started to change. The days were more manageable, and the nights were no longer cold, dark and lonely. The tough times I came face to face with in the beginning turned out to be the foundation on which I built my recovery. They say that success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out, and I couldn’t agree more. The problem was, I forgot what it meant to put in effort everyday to accomplish a long term goal. Drug addiction is all about instant gratification. My days spent in agonizing withdrawal were washed away once the drug dealer showed up at my house. The pain of the previous hours were an afterthought because I knew I would be okay, if only for a few hours. Thoughts of hard work were non existent and I lived my life for the next high. Years of my life had passed me by while I was just a lingering onlooker. This time I was actively participating, and this time things were progressing differently. (more…)