Give recovery a chance; you’ll be astounded how quickly and dramatically your life can improve.
It’s hard to say if I was genetically predisposed to addiction, but I do know that something is fundamentally different about how I process drugs and alcohol compared to other people. My using started out relatively innocent with what I consider average teenage behavior, but “normal” activities like smoking a joint or stealing a few beers from my parents had a far more detrimental effect on me than it did to my peers. Even at this age, it was clear that I wasn’t able to moderate or control my consumption of drugs and alcohol. Considering the progressive nature of the disease of addiction, it only got worse as time went on.
My own consciousness had become a prison that I could only escape by being high or asleep.
I can only imagine how it feels to have the son that you raised, fed, clothed and supported turn around and start stealing, lying and manipulating. My last day using I stood in front of my father with tears in his eyes while I handed him my used syringes and other paraphernalia. That was the day I went to detox and the first day of my life in recovery. I stuck around after going to Ambrosia’s rehab in Port St. Lucie, Florida. I live 1500 miles away from my family, but I’m closer to them than ever before. My mother tells me “I’d rather love you from Florida than mourn you in New Jersey.” Words cannot express how grateful I am to have such a loving and supportive family. It’s going to take a lifetime of amends to erase the guilt I feel for what I put them through but being clean has given me that opportunity.
As long as I stay clean, the possibilities are endless.
The beauty of recovery is that I can feel a full range of emotions and don’t need to numb myself or escape reality. No one ever promised me that recovery would be easy, but I was promised that I never have to use again as long as I put in the effort. That promise has been fulfilled. Today, I’m free from the physical, mental and spiritual bondage of addiction. When I think back to my life as an addict, recovery is paradise. I’ve never been more content and well-adjusted in my life.
My greatest accomplishment in recovery has been becoming a better person, both to myself and to my family.
It’s crazy to think how far your life can progress when you do the right thing. When I was young, one of my dreams was to travel the world. Recently, I hiked for four days through the Andes Mountains in Peru, got to see Machu Picchu and experience the beautiful volcanos, rainforests and coffee plantations in Costa Rica. Before I got clean, I could barely get out of bed. Now, I get to go anywhere and do anything I want, as long as I put my recovery first. It goes without saying that none of this would be possible if it weren’t for a program of recovery working in my life today.