John is 13 years clean and sober

My name is John Flores. I was born to 2 parents who were blind (sight impaired). My dad was a violent drunk and would beat me when I was younger. On top of that I was sexually abused from the ages of 5-7 by a family acquaintance. So my view on life was tainted at a young age. 

I started drinking my dad's liquor at about 9 years old. I started hanging around older neighborhood kids and started smoking weed at the age of 10. These same older kids were in gangs so I got jumped in the gang. From there I started using cocaine at the age of 11 and then moved up to meth and heroine. I left home and ran the streets. I got beat up, shot at and even stabbed.

I continued to run the streets until I started going to jail. I spent about 8 years total in and out of the criminal justice system. The last time I went to prison I decided to change my life.  It was actually my daughter that helped me, I called her from prison and I was about to hang up and I told her "I love you" her response was "No". I said "what do you mean No" she said to me "if you love me you'll be here with me". When she said that my heart broke and I broke down. That statement got me to think about my life and hers. I made the decision to change that day. 

I got out of prison went to a drug program for 2 years.  I worked on myself, my resentments, my self-defeating messages, my trauma, and practiced things that were new to me (living life with integrity, honesty and openess). The program saw that I was sincere in my recovery and offered me an internship. I took the internship, went to school, got certified as an Addictions Counselor/Clinical Supervisor. I learned all I can while I was in school and was open to any type of teaching. I had an addiction to drugs for about 16 years but because of my decision to change I now have 11 years in the field as a Counselor/Manager and 13 years clean and sober. I get to help people who are like me and I love it.  I continue to work on being the best person I can be everyday. 

I hope this touches someone's heart.. 

Thank you!

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