Recovery Unplugged

“I realized that the life I was leading wasn’t any way to live.”

Josem Lantigua

Josem Lantigua

Clean For: 6 Months
Age: 28
From: Tampa, FL

“It started when I was young. When I turned 16 I moved out of my parent’s house and it was basically party night every night. It was fun at first, but the progression was quick, and I got introduced to pills and cocaine. It escalated very quickly. My life revolved around drugs. If I wasn’t doing them, I was selling them. My last day of using, I kept trying to steal my parents liquor. Well, I didn’t try… I stole their liquor. Whatever they had that was clear- I would drink it and fill it up with water. My dad caught on to me pretty quick, and my parents tried to lock me in my room so they could take me to treatment the next morning. Naturally, I jumped out of the window. I went and got more drunk, and did drugs. I woke up in a hospital, IV in me, and a bottle of liquor in my hand. I realized that the life I was leading wasn’t any way to live. I hated myself, and it wasn’t even because I didn’t have nice things or this and that, because I did. I had everything. I was comfortable. I had a job. I was maintaining. But, at the end of the day, that stuff doesn’t mean anything. I realized I had to fix what was in my mind first. The next day, I was supposed to get on an airplane to go to treatment, but on the way to the airport, I was drinking and taking Xanax. The cops wouldn’t let me near the plane because I was so intoxicated, so I had to drive four hours with my dad, and one of my friends to get to South Florida. After my dad dropped me off, my friend called me and said the whole ride home, my dad was in tears, asking where he had gone wrong. He didn’t. It had nothing to do with him. What he didn’t realize was, when you’re in active addiction, your decisions aren’t really your decisions. When I got to treatment, I was willing to try anything, because I was sick of being miserable. You can really get something out of it if you actually give it a chance. I learned that expressing your feelings is not a bad thing, and it always feels better when you open up. It’s crazy to think that I have a stronger bond with people I’ve known for six months than with people I’ve known my whole life. It’s a completely different friendship. It’s hard to explain, but it’s good. Life is good. I can take care of my kids now. Not just financially, but emotionally too. I can call my kids, and ask them how their day was and actually listen. I even talk to my mom every day, who for once actually seems proud of me. It’s a good feeling… it’s something I guess I really needed. I would say that if it ever crosses your mind that you have a problem, you most likely have a problem. If you can realize it while you’re young, I would say try to kick it then, because it doesn’t get easier- it gets worse.”

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