In the summer of 2013, I made a decision to make another attempt to get sober. Up until this point I had struggled with heroin addiction for nearly a decade and could not achieve long term sobriety. I had been through multiple treatment centers, detoxes, sober livings, and done a geographical move. All of which resulted in failure which took me further away from my own self, my family, and loved ones. I had embraced the fact that I was a drug addict and I would probably die from this affliction. But there was still a glimmer of hope that I could finally “get this” and be a happy and productive member of society again. You have to be broken in order to be fixed, and I finally felt truly broken and ready for some sort of change in my life. I knew that it would take a lot of work and I was ready for someone else to tell me what to do, because up until this point my way wasn’t working. Getting out of my environment and going out of state made it easier for me mentally because it was difficult for me to leave and get loaded if I had an urge to use, so I decided to hop on a plane and go to a treatment center in California. In the past I had done something similar and done treatment and a lightly structured sober living in South Florida. It ended in catastrophe and I eventually moved back home after a year of bouncing in and out of different rehabs. I had to do something different but I had no idea what that was supposed to look like. While I was in treatment in Los Angeles, I met a guy who worked there that had 15 years sober and I noticed that there was something different about this person. It’s hard to explain but it was almost like he knew something that I didn’t. He exuded some sort of aura and had a light in his eyes which was attractive. This man ended up being my sponsor after I completed treatment and he convinced me and my family that I needed to go to a structured sober living.
When I arrived at sober living any and everything was taxing on my serenity. Receiving feedback from my peers on what I needed to change was not something I had experienced in prior attempts to get sober. My patience and tolerance of others was tested on a daily basis while living with 14 other newly sober men. But we had a common bond, and most of us had been through the wringer already. I am an only child so I don’t know what it’s like to have siblings but I would soon have an idea of what it’s like to have brothers. Some of the best feedback I ever received during a group at the house was that I needed to find inner peace. I almost laughed when the manager told me that! I had no idea what he meant but was forced to take a look at it. There was a lot of inner turmoil and pent up rage within myself that I didn’t even know was there. Thankfully, a requirement of the house was to get a sponsor and start working the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and go to AA meetings on a daily basis. We had to start practicing awareness and know what was going on around us at all times. Getting a routine down and finding a job also played a big part of my early sobriety. I had my schedule down to a science and knew exactly where I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to be doing every second of every day. My life started to have purpose and meaning again. I developed lifelong friendships with other guys that I went through the house with and we trudge this road together.