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My Recovery Story - Javier Soto

What is the most significant event or series of events that encouraged you to change your mind and move into recovery?

After getting my 2nd DWI on January 23rd 2012 my recovery seed was planted. I had been arrested 4 times and twice in Mexico, but this time it felt a little different. I remember the officer telling me on my ride to book me in “this could change your life, not tomorrow, not in a month, or in a year, but if you give it a chance it can be life changing”. At that moment I did not believe it one bit. I was handcuffed in back of a cop car about to get booked in Wilco. October 2nd, 2012 I began my DWI drug court in Williamson County.

How would you describe your journey into recovery?

My journey into recovery started a bit rocky. I had been through three stints on probation in my early 20’s and honestly I wanted to graduate to get back to drinking. The best way I can describe it is I felt like I was playing tug-of-war with myself. The most amazing thing happened to me around my 4th month of being sober. Ever since my late teens, all the way to the end of my 3rd month of sobriety I consistently had 4 pairs of sunglasses with me. On my cap, in my truck, in my backpack, and at my house. It was my security blanket! My wife, girlfriend at the time, expressed that she hadn’t seen me wear my sunglasses for a whole week. I had to stop and think about it for a minute, and then I realized that I hadn’t worn a pair of sunglasses for a whole week! It just so happened to correlate with myself being more open minded in my recovery journey. I was enjoying going to meetings, working my steps, going to the gym on a consistent basis, and more importantly loving myself again. I didn’t have to hide behind my mask anymore.

When you engage in being fully present, in the moment, what do you experience now? How is that different from pre-recovery days?

Being able to be fully engaged in the moment consistently is a HUGE blessing! I’m able to experience life in HD! I’m able to be a loving husband and a father to our 3 beautiful daughters. Watching them grow reminds me every day why I’m here on earth and living a sober life. It’s going to sound cliché’, but enjoying the simple things in life has been awesome! I can appreciate the trees growing, the birds chirping, different hues in the sky, and being on time for important events. During my addiction days it was exactly opposite. The only time I would hear the birds chirping was on day 2/3 of my party binge. I couldn’t enjoy the beauty of the world, especially wearing dark sunglasses every day. I would also constantly get myself out of social gatherings I knew I couldn’t be wasted at, so I was rarely present at all.

What continues to be challenging in recovery?

I’ve always had the fear of public speaking. When I would be enthralled in my drinking/drunk binge I lost all my inhibitions, which led me to not have the fear. As I have gotten more sobriety under my belt, my anxiety has become a lot more manageable. Facing my challenges by running groups has helped me fight my fear of public speaking, and I can honestly say that I can feel myself grow through this process.

What strategies have you developed in managing these interesting times?

Yoga & Mindfulness, Being totally honest with myself and my loved ones, Exercising, Serenity Prayer, Hiking, Trying new hobbies, Continue to be open with my recovery, and Meetings

What have you found that continues to be interesting about your recovery?

It amazes me how the blessings continue as long as I keep working my recovery program. It’s interesting how God has put certain people in my life to remind me who I am, where I come from, and why I’m still here.

Who inspired you in your recovery?

All of Williamson county DWI drug court! Jude Wright, Sabrina, Emily, Keisha, Paul, my litter mates, my wife Christina, & my step daughters.

What are some of the things that have become easier for you to do in recovery as compared to pre-recovery days?

In spectrum everything has become much easier since I’ve been sober. I’m more present in everyday activities. When I was deep in my addiction I would only go out during the night time, like a vampire. Today, I’m able to make it to my daughters volleyball games, make it to events that I’ve promised people I will be attending, and allow myself to take care of my health and well-being. Being consistent at work and having people trust me to follow through in whatever I do has been a huge step from my past.

In what ways has uncovering the plot of your life story been a healing process for you?

Throughout my journey in recovery I have been able to find myself! For fourteen years I was lost in my own skin, not understanding my purpose in life. Being able to share my story has helped me heal and grow. I was once that lotus flower growing in murky swampy water. I have been blessed with a new beginning and have bloomed to become a better brother, son, friend, worker, husband, and father to my family. I now understand my purpose in life and that is helping others any way I can.

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