Sober doesn’t Suck! is a safe place for people to share their stories of being an alcoholic, addict, their addiction and recovery openly and honestly. There is no requirement of sobriety for posting, if you’re concerned about your using I want to hear from you too.
I recently received the following article from a reader. I’m honoured to share his story, hoping someone will find comfort, tools and hope in it.
If you’d like to tell your story, your feelings about your own addiction or that of someone else in your life please head over to the Sober doesn’t Suck! page. Addiction affects the people around us, I’m interested in sharing all sides.
Wow. I have been clean for over two years! Is this real? The grip of addiction no longer suffocates me! I am able to live life on life’s terms… most of the time.
I am a 29 year old musician from Southern California who grew up with an alcoholic Father. Thankfully, my Dad got clean in my early teens and has stayed that way for 17 years! After living through the consequences that his alcoholism brought our family, I was convinced that I would never let my drinking become a problem like that nor would I ever even try any drugs at all.
It wasn’t until late high school that curiosity and peer pressure got the best of me and I drank for the first time. Soon after, I tried marijuana, mushrooms, ecstasy, cocaine and Oxycontin. I had no idea that this would be the beginning of a new, dark chapter that would shape my life forever. I thought I was just like any other kid, just exploring and having fun with friends and then would move on from it all once I got older. Boy was I wrong…
Once I tried Oxycontin, I knew my life would never be the same. My ultimate escape was through using Oxycontin every day. I was selling my prized music possessions such as guitars, amps, records, and recording gear. It usually isn’t a good sign when the employees at the nearest pawn shop know your name. I was also taking out multiple payday loans across Orange County and had quickly mounted an enormous amount of debt in the thousands of dollars!
My Oxycontin Addiction Took Everything
Addiction is so cunning and baffling… I felt that I did not have a problem at all and had many rationalizations for my behavior. I tried to stop many times but failed. I knew what was best for me, but could not achieve it. I was scared, I had no control, I had lost my true identity.
In the summer of 2011, my parents had found out for the third time that I was back using Oxycontin. They were baffled at what to do. I had betrayed their trust so many times and the hearts were breaking to see their child dying before their eyes. They decided I had to see a therapist and go to a drug addiction/recovery support group at least three times a week. I had to sign a contract stating that if I failed to do any of these things, that I would be sent to inpatient treatment. I was scared and did not know if I was willing and able to do what they were asking. But, I was already so beaten up by that point. I was 6’3’’ 150 pounds, huge dark circles under my eyes, my music gear all pawned, and thousands of dollars in debt. I truly feel I was close to death. I had a moment of clarity and realized everything that my Oxycontin addiction had taken from me. It was time to change my life.
Recovery from Oxycontin Addiction
I wanted to stay clean and wanted to use at the same time. In the early part of my recovery, there was a war taking place every day for my soul. I could feel the light and hope of recovery and the darkness and temptation of using at the same time. I decided to take my recovery one day at a time, some days one hour… one minute at a time! I would try to not look too far in the future and just tell myself for that day that I would stay clean. This helped me to focus my efforts and not to get overwhelmed.
I learned to share with other addicts about my story and realized the many benefits of doing so. I was releasing the anger, sadness, frustration, etc. into a room of other people who understood what I was going through. I was picking up great advice from other addicts on how they approach their recovery and what helps them to stay clean. I developed a new family of other addicts where I felt comfortable and loved. This is a huge part of my recovery! I can never forget that I am an addict and that I need to take certain steps in order to address my addiction.
I can’t change the past but I can help to create a future for myself by living in the now and doing what is necessary in the present. I am living a life that I never thought was possible today! Yes, there are bumps in the road of recovery but it is through these bumps and bruises that I have become stronger and have grown. I have learned to fight for my recovery because it is worth fighting for… more than anything else in my life. I will not use, no matter what. I will continue do all the things that have kept millions of addicts clean and sober throughout the years and will draw upon their stories as my strength and hope. If they could do it, I can do it. If I can do it, you can do it!
Every one of us has the power and strength within to recover. No matter how far we have fallen, there is hope for us! Many others have come before us from all walks of life, with many different horror stories of addiction and have gotten clean, and stayed clean. We don’t have to die from our addiction. We can create a better life for ourselves by doing what others have done before us. Once I started to believe in myself again, I started to remember who I was before my addiction had taken hold. I started to love myself again and felt like I was worthwhile. All the lies that my addiction had been telling me throughout the years were starting to be exposed as fake and false, and this gave me the ability to realize who I really am. I am a happy, loving, easy going musician who loves to be with family and friends and I will never let my addiction take all that away from me again!