If you had asked me ten years ago where I would be today, I honestly would have said that I would be dead. I was at the end of my rope, and while I didn’t want to continue using, I found it hard to not. I had burned all my bridges and had to make a decision. Thankfully, I decided to fight.
As I celebrate a decade of sobriety, I look back on where I was and where I am today with gratitude. I’m by no means close to perfect, but I am a more productive member of society, a better family member, a reliable co-worker, and a person with a clear mind. I am no longer bound to drugs the way I once was, and while relapse is always a possibility, I continue to move further and further away from that even being an option.
When people ask me how I did it, my answer is simple: I found something other than myself to believe in and also started to believe I was worth fighting for. I did the work that was asked of me. I helped others the same way I was helped. Every day I try to do things differently and for other people. Day after day, I continued on this journey until 30 days became six months, and six months became ten years.
I really can’t put into words how grateful I am for the life I have today. My career allows me to continue helping others while also allowing my creative passions to be met. I have a team that I would kill for and who make every work day a joyful experience. I have a partner who truly gets me and understands me. My family is back in my life, and we have better relationships than before active addiction. I have things in my life today that hold value—and not material things. I’m talking about the things in life you can’t buy. Self-worth. Love. Support. Stability. These are all a direct result of making the decision to choose recovery.
I was driving through the area where I used to buy drugs the other day, and it amazed me how disconnected from that life I am today. Ten years ago, I was broken. I was homeless. I had no purpose in this world, and today, I can drive through an area without the worry of triggering cravings. I still have a long way to go, and recovery is a constant in my life that I must work on every day. The idea that I fought this way of living for so long really baffles me some days. How I could choose a temporary solution over recovery shows how insidious the disease of addiction really is. For those out there who are struggling with addiction, all I can do is offer hope by sharing my journey. There’s no magic pill. No immediate cure. There is only each person’s individual path to finding recovery that works for them. My recovery journey is totally different from others I know, but we all found a way to live that doesn’t include getting high. Regardless of how you get there, just know you are worth it. Recovery is worth it. I want to thank everyone who has supported me, loved me, and has been a part of my journey getting to ten years of sobriety. Without you and my higher power, I would most likely be six feet below by now. Instead, I am a person who is proud of how far I’ve come but also a person who knows there’s still so much more work to be done.