Joseph Ashdale | A #WeDoRecover Story
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Joseph Ashdale
We Do Recover

Follow the suggestions and surrender.

My journey in recovery began by doing what others who came before me suggested. I had to smash the idea that I could control drugs and alcohol instead of them controlling me.

I had no purpose in life, no value. I was a useless son, brother, cousin, employee, and human being.

Heroin and alcohol turned me into an entirely different person. My life was true misery, and I felt like I was merely existing until my next fix. For me, the worst part about being in the throes of addiction was how much damage I did to my family. My parents couldn’t sleep, and eventually detached from me. After a while, they turned on each other. My childhood goals and aspirations were thrown to the wayside, and I was living to use and using to live. It wasn’t until I could recognize the scope of my problem and finally surrender to the fact that I couldn’t put down the drugs with my will power, that I could begin to make a change.

I finally just threw up my hands. I knew it was time to do what I was told by the professionals and the sober people that came before me.

I tried everything I could come up with to get sober. Between abstinence, institutions, medical remedies and sheer will, nothing worked. After seven years of turmoil, I found my way to Ambrosia’s rehab center of the Palm Beaches. I got a sponsor and immersed myself in a 12 Step Program, which is the best thing I have ever done for my sobriety. Every day I humbled myself by riding my bike to work and then working for $9 per hour. Never in my life did I make less than $12 per hour, but it wasn’t about the money. It felt good to show up every day ready to work and not hungover. It wasn’t always easy, but blind faith in the people around me who were doing the next right thing got me through.

It is crazy to think about how far my life has come, and I have only been sober for a few years. Why stop now?

Recovery is possible for anyone. It feels like I have been given another chance at life; like I am living a new life entirely. I can’t forget that not too long ago, I was in addiction on the streets of Philadelphia for a week with no place to go. I have regained the trust, love and interest from my family and friends that I once lost. Now I can look forward to getting married, owning a home, and raising my daughter clean and sober. My future is open to anything I want to do, and for that I am grateful.

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