Clean Date: January 8th, 2019
From: Philadelphia, PA
I am an alumni coordinator at Recovery Unplugged and I run the softball team here, I also play football and lacrosse. I have two brothers and five sisters. As a child I was loving, caring, and responsible. I got into a lot of fights as a kid because I didn’t know how to handle my emotions. Society always told me to bury them.
My journey to addiction began when I was born. My first addiction was sports and I always did everything to excess because nothing was ever good enough for me. Being in active addiction was a living nightmare. I come from a family full of alcoholics and addicts, so I knew better, but one day, something had made me angry and I gave up on life. Going through my journey of sobriety has taught me I never truly loved myself. I was only in love with trophies, achievements, outside things, but never myself. I had many rock-bottoms throughout my addiction. Periodically, I would get better.
I came to Recovery Unplugged after my family orchestrated an intervention for me. After seeing the look on my family’s faces, I realized how many people I was hurting. Doctor Barry facilitated the intervention. I had an Xbox and a Dolphins blanket to my name; that was it.
Being in recovery is so freeing. I don’t have crazy thoughts. I don’t have to act out on my emotions, I can set boundaries. I have a life beyond my wildest dreams. I didn’t think it was possible for someone like me to recover. I thought I was damaged and a lost cause for a long time. For some reason, some other people saw a light inside me and it lit a fire that I didn't know could be lit anymore.
My advice to anyone struggling with addiction is to give treatment a shot.for 30 days...what do you have to lose? Give it an honest 30 days and after that you can reevaluate your situation. My advice to the family would be to do what my family did. What helped me, is my family letting me go on my own journey. They didn’t enable me in any way and when my safety net was gone that's when I became willing to even think about recovery.
The two biggest lessons I've learned from recovery are that surrendering isn't weak to meet people where they are in their lives. Have faith in the process. In early recovery, I listened to the suggestions. I had to go through some problems because I'm hard-headed. But after showing up for so long, I became more willing every day. More opportunities were happening for me because I showed up to meetings and took suggestions. I got a sponsor, did service work and went to 90 meetings in 90 days.
Currently I still don't have a car and I live/work at a halfway house, not because I can’t get those things, but because I want to remain teachable, honest, focused, and humble for as long as possible. When I accomplish things, I sometimes take my foot off the gas and I can’t afford to do that when it comes to my recovery. The best part of my recovery is having an open and honest relationship with my family. We talk about positivity now and we respect each other. My favorite part about recovery is helping people who are as sick as I was, it gives me purpose. I would use drugs by myself, I’d be talking to myself in the basement somewhere, I didn't think I'd ever have friends again or that anyone would want to spend time with me. The fact that I have friends, and good friends at that, is a miracle. Being able to help someone who has felt the same feelings of pain and guilt as me is what keeps me sober.