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My Recovery Story - Byron

I started my battle with addiction when I was 13 years old. My drinking and using was never light, even from the very first time I was intoxicated. Before my first drug or drink, I remember feeling a huge empty pit in my gut, but never quite understood what it

was. When I took my first drink, that pit finally went away. I had experienced that “arrival” that many people in recovery talk about. Alcohol and prescription pills became my master before I had even reached the age of 15. I went to treatment for the first time when I was 16 years old, where I was also misdiagnosed with a myriad of mental illnesses, which I later found out were just the product of untreated alcoholism and addiction. I was introduced to the twelve steps during that time, but I definitely was not desperate or willing enough to give them a shot. A year later, I had my second visit to that same facility, but this time a suicide attempt was a factor.

By age 17, I was a full blown intravenous heroin user. My drug addict and alcoholic life seemed to be very normal. For whatever reason, I thought that it was normal to shoot heroin, drink uncontrollably, and exploit myself by any means to obtain my drugs and alcohol. I hit my first low when I lost my best friend, Cassidy, at age 18 to a heroin and meth overdose. This was my first real firm resolution, and I meant that I was done with drugs, but not alcohol, for good and for all. I would not let myself experience the same fate as Cassidy. I was going to live a happy life in her legacy. Through this painful experience, I still ended up using and drinking again. I spent the next year and a half in and out of treatment facilities, sober living homes, meetings, and hospitals. By treatment stint number six at age 19, I finally had enough. I realized that drugs and alcohol were not my problem, I was the problem. Remove the substances from me, and after a while I am actually worse. They were my solution, but I desperately needed a new one. I also realized that I had a body that could not control the intake of alcohol or drugs and a mind that could not keep me away from them no matter how severe the consequences. I needed power. I had been defeated, and internally crushed.

I walked into treatment on November 22, 2013 a completely broken shell of a boy willing to do whatever it took to never return to the miserable revolving door of the “life” I had been existing in. I walked out of that treatment center as a free man. Today, the most important fact of my life is my relationship with God, whom I choose to call Jesus. If you would have told me 2 ½ years ago that I would be gung-ho for Jesus, I would have laughed hysterically at you. Through Jesus, the twelve steps, genuine relationships, and self-sacrifice, I have been granted a new life which I would not have ever imagined. My life is not always sunny and beautiful, but I am okay. That’s all I ever wanted, and some! I have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body through the continual effort of perfecting and enlarging my spiritual condition. That pit in my gut has been filled, and it often overflows. My hope is that every addict/alcoholic gets to experience the freedom I have been so freely given.

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