substance abuse

‘How did I end up here?!’ I awoke in jail to the sound of a cell door slamming, no idea what happened the night before.’: Man beats life-long addiction, says ‘as long as you’re still breathing’ there’s hope for recovery

“I lost everything. I stepped out of jail with a few one-dollar bills and 3 cigarettes. I was missing a shoe, had blood on my shirt, and one of my fingernails was completely ripped off. I had taser burns on my arm and chest, and zero memory of my arrest. I faced the biggest decision of my life. I had to fight.”

‘I love you, sweetie. I’ll call you Friday.’ Those words will forever haunt me. I received a call from my mom when school ended. ‘This is the hardest thing I’ll ever tell you.’ I fell to the floor.’

“My heart sank. I could tell by her voice I had to get home. I still hear the words as she fought back breaking down. ‘We have to go. We have to get there!’ I remember having thought, ‘He seems better. He seems more like himself.’ My dad was back. Boy, was I wrong.”

‘My wife must regret spending her life with me. If she met someone different, she’d have perfectly healthy children,’ I told myself. ‘He is one of 34 people known to have this.’ My heart sank. ‘What? In the country?’ ‘No, in the world.’

“I remember thinking, ‘Maybe we just aren’t the best of parents.’ Little did I know my wife was secretly researching and had discovered a condition. One day, she showed me a video. My heart sunk. I felt dizzy. Straight away, I knew this was what our boy had.”

‘I wasn’t the stereotypical addict on the streets with no teeth, begging for money. I had children. I was functioning. I’d get up, eat, go to the gym. Then, I’d go on a bender for days.’

“I’d do whatever I could to distract myself from the fact that I felt alone. I always wanted to stop, but I didn’t know how. People around me knew, but never said anything. It made me feel like it was okay. I didn’t realize I needed to change until I lost my children. I decided if I couldn’t beat this and see my kids again, I’d kill myself.”

‘I didn’t have a job or a house. My son was put in foster care. I lost everything because of alcohol.’: Father beats addiction after hitting ‘rock bottom,’ celebrates 3 years of sobriety

“I relapsed and spiraled downhill very fast. I stopped going to my drug and alcohol counselor. I started cancelling visits with my son because I was ‘sick’. I felt so hopeless and unworthy as a parent and human being. Then, my case manager showed up and reminded me I was in it for my son. I literally broke down and cried. I told her to leave, and she refused. ‘I will be with you for anything you need.’ She reassured me I had the potential to do this.”

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