When I stopped using mind-altering substances in 2011, after 27 years of addiction, I had been suffering for a long time, and I finally reached a point at which I was no longer willing to pay the piper. I had a young son and a wife who needed me in their lives. I realized that my son’s future depended largely on my recovery. I came very close to damaging his life as well as my own. Even then, I did not enter recovery willingly; criminal charges and the threat of a long prison sentence motivated me to enter a Recovery Court program. With a lot of help from some skilled professionals, I was able to find myself again. Now my wife, my son and I are enjoying all of the wonder and joy of being a family. Having returned to healthy development, I have begun to realize my potential and achieve many of my goals, as well as contributing to the lives of others.
I began, like many, in a 12-step fellowship. After I came to fully embrace and understand my personal recovery experience, I decided to leave the fellowships and engage in self-directed recovery. The healthy life that I live now includes strong public advocacy, critical thinking and empowerment, and ideas from many disciplines. While I utilize resources outside of myself, I have found that I am the ultimate source of motivation and solutions. I study the body of knowledge around recovery avidly, and hope to remain a lifelong learner. Being of service to others is also part of my formula, and I hope to make recovery more attractive and attainable for those that I encounter.
I have learned that there are many paths to recovery. I believe that, with support and guidance, people can learn to make better choices for themselves; and that each one of us ultimately possesses our own solutions and the power to reach them. I firmly believe that each person should be guided and empowered to plan, design, implement and revise an individualized program for recovery which draws upon and develops strengths and assets.
I am happy to go public with my recovery story and add my voice to the growing number of people who are willing to speak publicly about our recovery. It is important to me to empower people to reach, achieve, and maintain recovery; and doing so empowers me as well.