The following is the second part to a two part series. In the first article, we heard the story of a successful man who spiraled into the cycle of addiction. In this article, we will showcase his personal journey to recovery. His story will reveal that while sobriety requires hard work and commitment, it offers a life beyond your wildest dreams.
“Many would believe that the road to recovery is easy, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Don’t get me wrong, being sober for over 12 years has been a complete blessing for me, but it has taken a lot of hard work to get where I am today.
Time In Treatment
My time in treatment didn’t go as smoothly as I had anticipated. I assumed that since I made the choice to get help, everything would be smooth sailing from here. I mean what could go wrong if I was sober?
I ended up craving drugs and alcohol on a daily basis in the beginning. I wanted to leave and go meet up with my friends, but I also knew that I had nowhere left to go if I checked myself out. My parents weren’t going to take me back if I didn’t complete treatment and I had few friends left that would help me.
There were times that I really wanted what was being offered and I would dive into the recovery. There were other times that the staff or other patients would push my buttons and I would go off in a fit of anger. I was a roller coaster of emotions.
Looking back I realize that since 14 years old I was masking my feelings with drugs. I never had to actually feel the feelings. For the first time in my adult life, I had to legitimately face feelings and cope with them. I was clueless about how to do this. Recovery was going to be a learning process for me of identifying and managing my feelings.
Following ALL Advice
Above all, I knew I didn’t want to go back to living the way I had been before, so I decided to commit myself to this path, no matter how hard it seemed. I followed all the advice that was given to me; going to daily meetings, finding a sponsor and surrounding myself with sober friends.
After treatment, I decided to move into a sober living house for a short time. This helped me to have constant support and encouragement whenever I needed it. I was grateful not to have to juggle all of life’s responsibilities newly sober.
I was able to find an entry-level job that was a huge step down from what I was used to doing, but it offered me the opportunity to have less stress and get back on my feet. My employer was aware of my struggles and was supportive of my recovery. Taking a job which payed less also helped to keep temptations at bay.
I spent all of my time either at work or doing something that was going to benefit my sobriety. There was one thing that I noticed almost immediately; the people in the rooms were genuine. The majority of recovering addicts I met had a true concern for others. They weren’t trying to get something from me like my drug buddies were. They wanted to help. When they saw me, they always asked how I was feeling and what was going on in my life. For the first time, I learned what friends really were.
As each day passed, the desire to go back to my old life continued to vanish. It started looking so ugly and unappealing to me, I couldn’t imagine walking in those shoes again.
My Early Sober Years
During my first year of sobriety, I had a fire placed under me to make up for lost time. I was in my mid-thirties by now and felt like I had missed the boat on some things I could have done.
After a few years and some solid recovery had been put together, my sponsor introduced me to an amazing woman who was not an addict. We hit it off immediately and became the best of friends. She had been training to be an addictions counselor, so it was nice to talk to someone that “got me”. Over time, our relationship grew and we got married.
Through her encouragement and the help of a therapist I was seeing, I decided to use my knowledge to pursue my dreams of opening my own business. It was a success and I was extremely fulfilled by the time spent building something that was my own.
Was it hard? Absolutely! Marriage is tough, business is tough and it all takes patience and perseverance to choose each day to make things work. My meetings, sponsor, and working the steps, were a crucial part of putting one foot in front of the other and doing the next right thing.
Dealing With Old Friends
Over the years, I’ve been faced with seeing old friends again. I’ve always followed the advice of my sponsor and support group by avoiding any interaction that just wasn’t necessary. I’ve always extended a hand of recovery to them and attempted to explain the peace I feel, but they haven’t desired to listen.
Just as it took what it took for me to reach my bottom and breaking point, they were going to need to find their way as well. I couldn’t bring their bottom to them, they had to want recovery for themselves.
Since my recovery, I heard of several of them dying in their addiction. It has saddened me to think of the empty lives they have lived, the fulfillment they never got to achieve. It also fills me with immense gratitude that I am able to walk this path of life in joy. I could have died any number of times, but I got another chance. I don’t ever want to take that for granted again.
Today Is A Blessing
Each day that I wake up is a new blessing. I am surrounded by the people who love me; my wife, children, and family. Today, I can feel their love and am capable of giving back to them in return. I no longer hide in shame, but I am confident and sure of myself. It’s been many years since I’ve seen the old Brian in my life because my days have been replaced with a new and happy man.
I’ve opened many businesses and even sold one for a decent profit. All the time, I’ve been able to work from home and spend quality time with my family. I live each day as it is a blessing that I never thought I’d have. My heart aches for those still lost in addiction and I work hard to try and show them the way out. There is freedom, there is peace and there is hope; one step at a time.”
Contact Clearbrook Today
If you or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, you should know that there is hope. Help is available, all you have to do is take the first step and ask for it.
For 45 years, Clearbrook Treatment Centers has been providing solutions and treatment to the chemically dependent person. By utilizing an abstinence based model of treatment, we have had the privilege to help our patients begin their personal journeys to recovery. If you are ready to make a change, please contact our Admissions Specialists today. Recovery is possible…and it begins here!