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Sober Nation

Putting Recovery On The Map

09-04-12 | By

Detour From The Road To Hell

road to hell

I’ve been clean for 15 months. Everything is still new to me. I’ve dug myself out of Hell and things are getting better day by day. This is my greatest accomplishment. I strive to travel this lifelong journey, making every clean day add to this accomplishment. I am an addict. I am also a Father and Husband; I manage a restaurant and now I’m a student. I plan on becoming a substance abuse counselor and hope to help others find their way out of their own personal Hell.

I have always had an addictive personality. As a child I wasted all my money on eating out and playing games at the arcade. I drank for the first time at my Aunt’s wedding, I was only twelve. Since then, I would bar tend at any wedding or graduation party. I had a lot of experience mixing drinks from making drinks for my folks. In high school my friends and I had our buyers and would get drunk every weekend.

After high school I started hanging out with a different crowd, where I started smoking pot. I tried it a couple times in high school but never on a regular basis. Pot eventually became a big part of my life. So with alcohol and weed I became open to trying new drugs. Acid trips and all-nighters became an every weekend event. One night I couldn’t find any weed and ended up trying cocaine. I must have been eighteen. It wasn’t like some euphoric feeling, but I did like it. The door to the “Hard Drugs” opened.

Depression and anxiety came with the territory. I hit a bottom with a suicide attempt, spending five days in the hospital. I got clean. That lasted almost ninety days before my addiction took over again. I thought “I’m too young to not drink and handle drugs here and there.” I lived what I believed to be a normal life. Got jobs, lost jobs. Had relationships, lost relationships. Got married, got divorced. Had a daughter, and got full custody of her when she was nine months old. As depression was still an issue, I had yet another suicide attempt. After I got home from the hospital I only stayed sober for maybe two weeks. I progressed to using meth, crack and drinking bourbon by the fifth.

The bottom fell out when I found out about Heroin. The love affair began the first time I used it. I’ve heard it said that “when you can stop you don’t want to and when you want to stop you can’t.” This is true in many ways. I would stop for a few days and go back to it. I couldn’t stay stopped. It was a two and a half years of using and stopping, using and stopping, using and stopping. On December 10th 2009 I overdosed, I got out of the hospital and went to work three hours later.

In February of 2010 I was really ill. I had no idea how bad it was until I was taken to the hospital by ambulance. I had partied all weekend and was sent home from work on Monday because my cough was so out of control. I felt horrible so I did what any drug addict would do, I got high. The next day, Tuesday Feb. 8th I slept through work. My Daughter tried to wake me up. A co-worker came over to see if I was ok. Between the two of them I woke up but just wanted to go back to sleep. I had no energy or strength to even sit up on my own. By the time I got to the emergency room my oxygen level was at 40%. I had been ill with phenomena and almost died again.

Three years ago I went to a Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting because I wanted to quit Heroin. NA is a 12 step program like Alcoholics Anonymous. It was suggested to me to attend NA meetings after my first suicide attempt. It took near death experiences and a bunch of pain for me to finally give up. I would go in and out of NA but the people there kept saying “Keep coming back.” So I did. I also sought professional help. I found a substance abuse counselor, and also began seeing a psychologist. I started eating, sleeping normal and becoming healthy.

Today I attend NA meetings daily, if possible. I chair a meeting and hold a position at a business meeting. Today, I now have a feeling of pride and integrity in my life. Today, I’m motivated to improve my life. Today, I keep my recovery first in my life because without it I wouldn’t have a life at all. Everything in my life has improved since getting clean. I remarried; she is my best friend and was always there for me. My family doubled with the addition of my wife and her son. We have a house and three dogs. I have nice things in my life and I love the responsibility that comes with it.

I can only hope my life experiences will help me in my career path of becoming a substance abuse counselor. I have been to Hell and fought my way back. I have a map to help other addicts. The knowledge I have gained with my life experiences, coupled with a college education may very well give me the green light on the road to my next greatest accomplishment, a fulfilling career. If I can help one addict get and stay clean everything I’ve done will have been worth it.

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