After 50 attempts at recovery, Earle is clean and loves helping others

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My name Earle Van & I’m a recovering heroin addict. After over 10 years of full fledged addiction & over 50 attempts at recovery I finally found my way. After a severe drug binge, an overdose that came minutes from killing me or leaving me brain dead, losing my uncle that raised me to an overdose, & 2 weeks of a Xanax / heroin fueled rage I had hit an all time low. Me & my mother started making calls to any & everyone who we thought could help me get into treatment. After mostly failed attempts due to lack of options & state insurance we found a place to give me scholarship to a treatment center in Florida. I don’t remember the week before I left, the flight, arriving to treatment, or the first day. For the first time in my addiction I was in a treatment center that did more then make me sit on a couch & watch tv all day. I began receiving trauma therapy, CBT, 1-on-1 counseling , & was not made to feel like I was in jail but that I was actually receiving treatment. I knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity & I used it as such. After 90 days of treatment I flew home & went directly to an attack addiction meeting. I left the meeting signed up to volunteer at multiple events where I would be handing out addiction information & talking to kids about the dangers of it. These were by far some of the most influential moments of my recovery.

It felt amazing to be helping out at these events. I liked it so much that at around a year sober I quit my job & started doing outreach full time. I started going to Philadelphia, New York , New Jersey, & after time over 20 states in the country including Hawaii. I became an interventionist & motivational speaker. For the first time in my life I was happy & known for being sober & not strung out. My family trusted me again. My REAL friends started to want to hang out again. I started a non profit called hope on deck where I feed the homeless, help people with no insurance or state insurance, & speak at schools, jails, & youth centers to spread HOPE & awareness.

Looking back at my life before recovery I’m amazed that I’m still alive. My life was in complete shambles since the age of 12. I’m now a happy, joyous & free productive member of society. I’ve dedicated my life to helping as many people become free from the grips of addiction as possible. The thing I always tell people I’m helping is that you have to remember what you’re fighting to get clean for. It isn’t for your kids, your car, to keep your job, but to stay alive. None of the things I just mentioned mean anything if you’re not alive & they will all come with sobriety. If you are struggling with addiction remember it gets greater later & if you feel like you will never make it remember there are people like me that have been to treatment literally over 50 times that are sober & happy. Fight as hard as you can & don’t give up no matter how many times you fall. You can be & do anything in life as long as you remove the drugs or alcohol from it. Once you’re sober & feeling good start helping the next addict who’s still struggling. For me it’s the biggest piece of the puzzle I was missing.