Name: Steffen Ipland
Sober Since: 11 / 28 / 1998
Sober For: 23 Years & 180 Days
What it was like?
I started using drugs when I was about eighteen years old. At different times, when one type of drug would get me in trouble, I would switch to another. I would do anything as long as it would help me to escape from my feeling of emptiness and loneliness. I tried to quit using at various times during my life, I just couldn't. The obsession and compulsion to use, something, anything, kept me using despite the knowledge that it was destroying me.
To me drugs seem to complete me. That is to say, as far back as I can remember, I always felt different and uncomfortable in my own skin, shy and "less than". I lost my family and my career, dreams, ambitions, self respect; everything fell apart as a result of my addiction. Along the way I paid numerous visits to jails, institutions, and only God knows how many times I knocked on death's door.
What it is like now?
Today my life is quite different. I am able to look in the mirror and not hate my reflection. My life is no longer based on "self centred fear", afraid of losing what I have or not getting what I want. Finding a sense of spirituality has been essential for this change. I've never been a religious man, but music has always been a connection for me. I now find pleasure to guide people in their recovery from addiction and to develop their own strength, self-esteem and abilities. I'm grateful for letting me see all the colours and beauty of life.