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.
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…)
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…)
I was released from my inpatient treatment center in December of 2015 and was transported to a local halfway house. I lived there for a few months during my last attempt at sobriety, and it was truly the only place in Florida that felt like home. When I arrived I was immediately greeted by the manager who strongly suggested that I commit to a year in the structured sober living environment. By suggest, I mean he told me that if I didn’t commit to at least a year, he wouldn’t let me stay at all. At the end of the day I know he wanted what was best for me and it was suggested by my support system that I let other people make my decisions for a while. I was apprehensive, but I agreed. (more…)
There is something to be said for being completely removed from society for a month and a half with no means of communication to the outside world. The only dialogue I had was with people just like me, and they all had their own reasons for being in a treatment center. I think it is fair to say that nobody struggling with addiction or alcoholism grew up hoping their life would turn out that way. After all, this disease does not discriminate by age, race, gender, ethnicity or economic status; it simply destroys all families and homes equally. Who would have thought that my life would have come full circle and I would end up right back where it all began. (more…)