I tried to fight the battle of addiction on my own from the age of 18 all the way to the age of 34. I grew up in Lawrence County, went to school at Blaine Elementary and graduated LCHS in 1994. Growing up I experienced mental, physical and sexual abuse from a step-dad early in my youth. This sparked a lot of confusion, bitterness towards people, and some major trust issues. My mom was extremely depressed and very detached from myself, brother and three older sisters. I figured out at a young age that “I” was all that I had. I came to the conclusion that I had no need to have relationships with people because people will do you wrong.
I started using straight out of high school and quickly realized that every disappointment, every pain, every bad thought slowly melted away. However, what I didn’t realize was that my life was melting away too, and that I was self medicating. Alcohol turned to pot, pot turned into nerve pills, nerve pills turned into pain pills. When smoking or snorting wasn’t enough anymore, I resorted to a needle.
In 2010 I was jobless, no transportation, no home and had no one in my life that trusted me. I had been married, up to this point, for 13 years and had 3 children. My addiction could not allow me to care about them or about myself to the point that I had been allowing them to live in a house with no running water, no electricity and no structure in their lives. I had finally, after all these years, had enough. I had made contact with Tim Robinson, who started an organization to help people struggling with life controlling issues, to get help. This place was “Odyssey.” I had been placed in a one-year program called “Chad’s Hope.” While I was there I had realized that my issues were more than just drugs, and that the use of drugs had been my cover up, or something that kept me from dealing with me. After completion, I moved back to Louisa where the Father Beiting Mission Center gave me employment. I moved up from 20 hours a week to full-time to being trained and receiving my CDL. I drove a semi-truck for the mission center for 2 years before moving on. In 2013 my journey with Addiction Recovery Care started, and I was now helping run a men’s recovery center. Since then I have been a part of opening two more men’s centers, and have watched lives being transformed everyday. I can say without hesitation, that in my addiction I tried and tried to get my life under control but failed miserably. There is no way that my life would be so fulfilling without my Father, God, and His love that has transformed my life.
Describe your “aha” moment?
My “aha” moment was when my ex kicked me out of the house after finding out that I traded my $3500 car for $200 cash and a $100 shotgun. She had enough and I did too.
What is the driving force that keeps you going when times get tough?
My driving force is my support group that knows when life is getting tough and pushes me to talk to them about what I’m feeling and helps me process things. Also, God’s love that has never failed me, and the hope He has given me for a better life.
What advice do you have for the addict that is still struggling?
Don’t give up. There is hope, and that hope is found in Christ. Life is so much better without the obstacles that come with addiction; recovery can be hard work it’s well worth it.
What obstacles or roadblocks have you encountered along your recovery journey?
Me!!!! I find myself in my head a lot and need pulled back in. Sometimes I still trying to figure out life on my own terms.
What is something you want people who have never struggled with addiction to know?
That asking us the question “Why can’t you just stop using?” is not helping. The answer is always “We don’t know,” and for good reason, because we don’t know. When a person is using it becomes their source of life or death.
What advice do you have for family members of person in active addiction?
Love is kind and love is patient, so be kind and be patient. Know that closing the door is still love, but be kind. Also, that it’s not necessarily going to be on your terms that they find help, so be patient.
Addiction is a beast. We, as a community, should be recognizing and encouraging people to get help, not from a position of judging. We hear on the news of the growing numbers of death from overdoses right in our backyard. The time is here and now to help save lives.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please call Addiction Recovery Care at 606.638.0938 or visit them on the web at www.arccenters.com.