Two Years Free from Addiction and Finding My Path in Helping Others

August 3, 2018, is the day that I decided to change my life and put an old habit behind me for good. This habit was abusing drugs and alcohol to try and feel happy about the person I was. The decision I made two years ago today would end up being the final nail in the coffin regarding my addiction.

I was living in South Dakota and I had nothing to my name. I was homeless, struggling to find a safe place to sleep, figuring out how I would eat next, even where I would at least get some fresh water to drink. 

I was just trying to survive. Do not get me wrong, I once had friends that helped me out, but due to my behaviors, I lost those friendships and burned those bridges. This resulted in me stealing from different stores and businesses just to get the necessities to survive out on the streets. This was not a sustainable lifestyle, and my behavior ultimately landed me in jail due to some charges I acquired. I remember sitting in that cell, by myself, and thinking that this is the life I chose and now I must live with it. I was staring directly at possible time behind bars, knowing full well that it was a result of my behaviors that came from abusing drugs. I was able to bond out of jail with what little money I had left to my name. That is when I knew I had to get serious because I was really struggling to make meaning of what my life was. It was at this time when I decided that I did not want to live like this anymore and I checked myself into treatment at Narconon. This would be the last time I would ever have to live like this.

I went through my program and took my time, I really wanted to address the reasons why I was trying to self-destruct to a point where I almost kill myself. I needed to get to the bottom of everything, I needed to end the thought of not wanting to live anymore. I ended up finding out those answers, and it all basically stemmed from the fact that I was not happy being me, and I had this false perception that people only liked me when I was abusing drugs and alcohol, that my true self was not worth anybody’s time and that nobody would accept me for who I was. Once I figured out that people do enjoy the real me and being in the company of my true self, I began to find my self-worth and became more comfortable with who I am as a person. This was only the beginning, however, as there was far more to my journey.

I later decided that I wanted to take on the task of helping others get over what I had gone through myself, so I decided to work in the field of drug and alcohol addiction, dedicating myself to give others a chance to help themselves and possibly avoid all the things I went through so many times in my life. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. As I write this now, two years later, I am more stable mentally, physically, and financially than I have ever been. It is quite a feeling knowing that I came from absolutely nothing and being in the darkest place in my mind to being able to help someone else get through that moment in their life and start living the way they were meant to be living. It brings me a deep satisfaction knowing that I can help others by being myself, having created the life I know I am meant to live.

The list of people to thank is very extensive, there have been so many involved in getting me to the place I am today. But to those people who know who they are, a simple thank you is not enough because it is so much more than that. The gift you have played a part in giving me is my life back. I hope that my story can encourage and inspire people to take the next step in their life if they are struggling with addiction and be okay with asking for help. At the end of the day, you can feel like you have all the answers. But finding the courage to say, “can you help me?”, that question can change your life, as it did mine!

This content was originally published here.