From: Philadelphia, PA
Brandon W's Humans in recovery story
As a child I would say that I was hyperactive. I liked to do things to get attention, I was kind of a class clown. I liked to make people laugh.
My journey to addiction started before I ever picked up drugs. I believe that I've always had this thing in me where if I liked something or the way it made me feel, I didn't want to stop doing it. I remember being young and playing video games from 8PM to like 5 or 6 in the morning.
My rock bottom moment was when I realized I didn’t wanna be alive anymore. I just wanted to die. I had no hope for the future. I didn't see myself ever having a life worth living.
What brought me to recovery was being in a mental institution because I was suicidal. They brought in meetings through H&I. At first I didn't think I had a problem, so it was in one ear and out the other, but I'm grateful for those meetings. They definitely planted a seed of recovery in me because once things got really bad, I knew where to go.
Life now in recovery for me is good. Life isn't perfect, but I do have to say I enjoy my life. I have great people surrounding me, people I love and people who love me, and I think most importantly recovery has given me peace of mind. It comes and goes, but at the end of the day I have that hope in me that just tells me that even when things aren’t perfect that things will be all right as long as I keep on the path of recovery.
Advice that I would give to addicts who are still struggling is to just take things one day at a time. It was hard for me to grasp that concept at first, but really just being in the moment and thinking about other things besides yourself and the things you want. Start thinking about the people that love you who you could be affecting.
The thing I learned this time in recovery was to actually live in the moment. Stop thinking about the past so much or getting anxious about the future. Just to look at your feet, see where you are, and be in the moment.
My advice to the families of someone struggling with addiction would be to be there for them, but at the same time don't be an enabler. Try and support them with them seeking help without enabling them. My relationship with my family today versus active addiction is night and day. It got to the point where my mother wouldn't let me live at her house, and today she always wants me to come home. I'm not always able to go as much as I would like, but she definitely wants me around today.
My experience at Recovery Unplugged was awesome. I liked the approach they took by incorporating music into recovery. I know that music affects my mood, whether I recognize it or not. Being in that positive environment with loving people and music was a great experience.