David is over 10 years clean after years of battling substance abuse

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I was the kid that never really fit in, so I’d do pretty much anything to do so, but it wasn’t until I discovered cocaine when I was 23, that opened up a whole new world. At the time, it was almost liberating. I was able to be someone else and mask all my pain & fear.

Little did I know it would take me down a road that I never thought possible. It progressed into 2-3 8 balls a day. Robbing and stealing. Leaving a complete trail of destruction. It only got worse from there when oxy’s came onto the scene, robbing pharmacies, trying to maintain the addiction.

Because it was getting so expensive, I gave heroin a try. It goes without saying that that was a very dark time. It even got worse when I started smoking crack/cocaine. That brought me to my lowest. It became a full time job robbing stores and people, then coming home to my girlfriend at the time and pretend to be normal. It all came to a halt when I robbed my parents jewelry box. I pawned very expensive watches and I was off and running. My mother found out and pressed charges, at that point, I already had opened cases on felony charges, so I was looking at 5 years in prison.

With no one and nothing left, I contemplated suicide. It was then, when someone recommended Teen Challenge. Before that, I wanted nothing to do with God. My mother would tell me “God loves you” yeah right! I thought. On December 18, 2009 I entered TC and on New Year’s Eve, on a mountain top ranch in Vermont, I met my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ.

It’s been 10 years and I’ve never looked back. My family has been restored. I’m married to an amazing women. I’m involved with the youth group at my church and I have a great job. Never in a million years could I have concocted this life on my own. When I was at a point where I was so unlovable, God still loved me and pulled me from the wreckage I created. 

The process of me getting sober wasn’t easy, especially since I didn’t want anything to do with God. I thought being a Christian would be boring. “I won’t be allowed to have fun” I had burned all my bridges. I was by myself, but I remember the night I went into the program. I wanted to call my stepfather and apologize, my mother said it’s not a good idea, but I still felt like I needed to. So, I called him to apologize and his response was unexpected. He said “ don’t worry about it son, shit happens, but you should’ve come to us for help." That was it, that’s all I needed to move forward.

It still kinda sucked, I’m from the city and here I am in the middle of nowhere in Vermont on a mountain. I never had a craving for a hit or anything I even quit smoking cold turkey. I quit everything cold turkey for that matter. 

The program was 15 months to complete. No girls, no phone, not even rated R movies. I learning how to be a member of society all over again. I completed the program, got my license back (finally!), stayed on as a staff member to give back and help those in need. I became the intake coordinator, which was crazy, being on the other side of the courtroom, advocating for addicts looking for help. Talking to families about tough love. I had to convince people that I was once an addict.

I was there for 4 years and a leader. Met a girl, found a job in a treatment facility, got engaged and four months later 4-11-2014 I was married to my best friend. I started a small landscaping business. Fast forward to 2016. I got a job at a production plant as an operator, 3 months later I was a supervisor. Here I am 10 years clean. Not 1 urge, not even a thought. I have good credit now. I’m responsible! I never thought I’d make it. I don’t even deserve all that I have today.

To this day, at least once a month, guys I know that were in the program were overdosing. It never becomes numb. It breaks my heart every time. I couldn’t imagine going back taking that chance for one hit, just to feel good for 10 minutes and to lose everything I got back and more. My worst day clean is 1000 times better than my best day high!