I have to be honest, because that’s what this program is all about…I wish I could say that I got sober for some noble reason, like my family wasn’t speaking to me and I wanted them back in my life, or my girlfriend broke up with me and I wanted her back, or I was kicked out of college and valued my education so I wanted to get back in, but none of that is the case.
I got sober because I was broke, and going to be homeless, and was afraid, and alone.
It’s true, my family hadn’t spoken to me in months, and my girlfriend didn’t want anything to do with me anymore, and I had been expelled from the university due to academic performance, but none of that mattered to me at that time.
All I cared about was scoring more heroin to stay high and keep from being sick. My life had been reduced to only one thought: how to stay high. It was really no life at all.
When finally, the money ran out, I hadn’t paid rent in 3 months and the vultures were swarming, I knew I needed something…I reached out to a friend of mine who had gotten sober a few months before and asked if he would talk to me.
I said to my friend, “hey man, I know you got yourself straight and have been working for a few months, think you can float me some cash?” I wasn’t asking for drug money at the time (though I’m sure I would have found a way to spend it on dope), but needed him to give me 3 months worth of rent to get out of being evicted.
My friend said to me, “I’m happy to get together and talk, but I can’t promise you any money.” Thinking I could somehow persuade him I agreed and we got together.
He was so healthy, and happy, seeing him was a kick to the gut. He said to me that he couldn’t give me any money but he would facilitate a conversation with my parents (who at that time hadn’t allowed me in their house for close to a year). I agreed and we went the next morning.
With the last little bit of powder hidden in my pocket, I immediately broke down the moment I saw my folks. They were angry, hurt and scared but willing to help. They said, “we will help you get into detox if you agree to let us make all your decisions for you until we trust you to make them yourself.”
I was so alone, so scared, and my life was so small that it seemed like a no-brainer. I agreed and was whisked away to detox that moment. That was in April of 2005.
The road hasn’t always been easy. I’ve had bumps, learned lessons, endured pain, made some bad decisions, and some good ones too. My life is huge now. I have a wife, and a brand-new daughter. I have more friends than I can count, and a business that seems to have some legs.
I am comfortable with who I am, how I live my life, and the contributions I make to the world around me. I’m fortunate to have a life worth living.
So, why did I get sober? I suppose because I had no better choice. My instincts and best thinking drove me into the despair of heroin addiction and I couldn’t think my way out of it. All the wells were dry, all my relationships and resources were gone.
I got sober because I couldn’t live that way anymore, I didn’t think I’d live at all if I kept it up, and because people who love me offered help and in a moment of clarity beyond my understanding, I was smart enough to take it.