February 2014 was the day I walked through the doors of treatment, I was there for 2 months. I remember nobody wanted to talk to me due to the fact that I was a very angry person. I was so angry because I was scared for the first time. I admitted to myself that I had a problem with drugs and didn’t know what to do. It took me about 20 days to come around and start to open up. I didn’t want anyone to see the real me. I didn’t know who I was either. I was so tired of putting on masks. I didn’t want to bother myself with other people.
The group in the facility at the time was very close; there were only 28 of us at most. They got me to open up and finally I started attending all groups. I learned the whole world wasn’t against me, there were people that understood what I was going through and shared the same feelings I did. I learned I don’t have to be my worst enemy and that it’s ok to talk about your feelings, and also that I don’t have to take on the weight of the world by myself. I was able to learn the concept of personal responsibility and that I wasn’t a victim of circumstance. I was a product of my own choices. The biggest thing I learned is not only am I addicted to drugs (anything mind or mood altering) but also anything that can take me out of self, I will abuse.
I listened in the groups and found literature in the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous. I picked up the basic text and started to read and read and I couldn’t seem to put it down because I could relate. I continued to grow relationships with the other addicts. I got close with some of the staff, who were also like me (addicts). I was held responsible for things and learned to deal with them. Treatment gave me my life back and for once, my mother wasn’t calling wondering if I was dead yet. I was able to look people in the eye when they spoke to me, but most of all, I accepted I am an addict that suffers from the disease of addiction and drugs are but a symptom of my disease.
The NA H&I meetings was where I found my fellowship, got a temporary sponsor, and started working the steps before I left. I was told the steps are where the change comes. I took some advice to stay in Florida and went to a half-way house. I got out scared because I didn’t know what was going to happen.
I changed everything. I started going to meetings regularly, I got a permanent sponsor, and continued to work steps while building relationships with people in the rooms. Two people from treatment I was really close to and are actually still to this day my best friends, we live together. One of those friends and I are the only two I know of that have stayed completely clean. As of August 18th 2015 I have 18 months clean.
I took suggestions from the people with time in NA. I started to grow up. I was holding myself accountable for things. It hasn’t always been easy, if this was easy everyone would be clean and we wouldn’t have a problem with addiction. There is one promise in Narcotics Anonymous, freedom from active addiction. That’s it, not that I’m going to get clean and everything is going to be cupcakes and rainbows. I have been willing to stay clean No Matter what.
The steps are a journey of self-discovery, which I am still discovering. I have currently been taking care of legal issues outside of the state of Florida. Correcting wrongs, being the man NA has taught me to be. I have the support of a loving wife who I have recently married, and I always have my higher power and my NA family. If you would have told me 2 years ago that I would be married, have true friends, have fun in life without the use of drugs, I would have said you were high.
Today, my life is filled with so much good. Even when it’s bad, it’s still good. I look at the positives today. I am finally living life, not just surviving it. I have a gorgeous supportive wife, a roof over my head and a family who wants me around. I have a family in NA, hell I even work for the treatment center now. Today, life is so much easier due to the fact that I don’t force things anymore, I have faith today. I’m proud to look in the mirror today, no longer am I embarrassed of who I am. Thanks to God, treatment, and the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous, I have a wonderful life.
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