Joe is a recovered addict who refuses to be anonymous

 

Hi my name is Joe, I'm a recovered addict & I refuse to be anonymous. For 16yrs I tried to hide my addiction behind lies, guilt, shame & manipulation. I was ashamed of who I became and it was painful to look in the mirror. When I was a kid I never planned on becoming a homeless junkie but as my addiction progressed I fell into a really dark place and it became virtually impossible to get out. 

The last 7months of my addiction was pure hell. I was kicked out of my house, lost my fiancé, my dog, my family and all I had left was my car (which became my home) I had become a hopeless junkie with zero self-worth and basically dug my own grave. The pain and regret became so heavy that I attempted suicide via overdose numerous times but I was always unsuccessful, until the day I came across a friends 9mm pistol. I put it in my mouth and was ready to pull the trigger to end the pain & misery but suddenly I received a text from my father and all it said was "I love you son, please come home". Something came over me that exact moment and suddenly the my hopelessness vanished. I can look back now and realize that God was all over that situation, he did for me what I could not do for myself, which was surrender. 

The next morning I woke up with an unfamiliar feeling, it was a feeling of complete determination to not give up. I left New Jersey & came down to Florida with $87, a suitcase & a heart full of hope. I didn't have insurance so I had to detox cold turkey at a halfway house. I went to meetings, got a sponsor and worked the 12 steps. Though out that journey I discovered my truth and found my Higher Power. No matter how hard life got I never gave up. The work I put into the steps have afforded me a life beyond my wildest dreams and that has nothing to do with materialistic possessions. It means I have peace of mind, serenity and true happiness, which is exactly what I looked for in drugs. Kinda ironic how that worked out huh?

Well here I am 3 & 1/2yrs later, still sober. I live my life today with three main principles: Hope, Faith & Courage. I have my family's trust back, I have an amazing career working in the treatment industry. I get to wake up everyday and help those who are struggling in early recovery. I owe it all to God, good sponsorship, my amazing family & my sober support. I should be either locked up or 6ft under so I do not take my life for granted. I am a man of integrity, honesty & passion. I walk with purpose today knowing that my experience, strength & hope can and will help others

So here's for all the drug addicts and alcoholics who think that there's no way out, please don't give up! There is a solution, all you have to do is ask for help, put in the work and the results will follow, I guarantee that!! I'm a fucking miracle and you could be one too. There are too many people are dying because they're scared to ask for help. Please don't let the stigma of this disease keep you silent and stuck in your sickness, we need your voice! 

"You can't control the wind but you can always adjust your sails"

So once again my name is Joe and I'm a recovered addict. Thank you for letting me share.