Kevin is celebrating 14 years of continuous sobriety!

Hello, My name is Kevin and I am a person of long term recovery. I grew up in a single family home, the "middle child', so to speak. I have an older brother and older sister, my younger brother od'd when he was 18 and I was almost 20.

My journey of addiction started as a very young child, 10, to be exact. I have memories of sneaking into my mother's "booze stash" at an early age. We grew up in a very dysfunctional home. My mother did the best she could, with the tools she had , at that time, to raise 4 children on her own.  My father was not in our lives.

From the age of ten, I would hide and sip. It was not on a regular or continuous basis, at that point. At age 11, my mother chose to leave the state of Indiana, where I was born. To move to the big state of California, with my younger brother and myself.

He and I were inseparable at that age. Now I had been freed of "the younger brother syndrome" and became engulfed into "the older brother syndrome".  By this time I had experimented with marijuana and alcohol. Jr. high school goes by and I am learning and discovering new things about myself and this new life that we have now. I discovered I was good at running, by that i mean running track and running with a ball, Football.

The inevitable happens, I get hurt during football practice. Just like that, everything I had ever dreamt, was now a harsh reminder to have more than one dream. Football and track were now a memory. So, I needed to numb the pain.

This is about the point of my life I discovered cocaine.  The pills were not helping, the booze was not helping and of course, the weed was not helping, individually. Sooooo, i dove head first into mixing and matching all I could to numb the Pain, the pain of being a failure. At this point I am 16 or 17. Done, in life, as I knew it.

A couple of years go by, then my younger brother commits suicide, he actually overdosed, but I think he truly ended his own misery.  We were inseparable, I remember, what I did, he did. My world ended as I knew it, and was changed forever. I was not my brothers keeper, I had failed ultimately.  He was 18, I was 20 and did not keep him safe out of harms way.

That devastated my entire family, for he was the "baby" of the family. Unbeknownst to my family we had started smoking crack , by this time in our lives. One did lead to the other. 
Jumping forward, because we all know where that landed me , time and time again. In the Los Angeles county jail, for those that do not know. In and out of jail for about 15 yrs. Never landed in the prison system only county time. "Time served". Until I was hit with the wake up call that changed my life forever and placed me into a thought process I never knew existed in me.

At the time of my God shot, I was facing 15 years in prison and that was only on one offense, so, needless to say, my life was out of control, very unmanageable and I needed help. I was in solitary confinement, for  wanting to change my life while I was incarcerated, Life changing.... to say the least. I didn't do any prison time, I was "awakened", God kept his part of the contract, so, for the rest of my life I have to keep my part. I ended up getting sentenced to 3 months in rehab or take the 15 yrs, with 80 % and 2 strikes upon completion of the time given. Not rocket science here, right?

Ummmmm, no thank you, I did not just volunteer that time. So, me knowing myself, I elected to stay in rehab for almost a full year. At this point, the jail time and rehab time, I was almost at 2 years clean already. So, doing something I had never attempted, I was proud I had broken free. I engulfed into the rooms of alcohol anonymous, cocaine anonymous and Narcotics anonymous. Got a sponsor, gained trust of my family and peers. I had to do the work ! 

I made a decision to do something I had never attempted to do before in my life. At the age of 33, I was given a second chance at living. I could not and still can not take away all of the Pain, the grief, the lies, the abuse to myself and others. But I can continue to keep my thought process from making those decisions to hurt myself and others. 

I know, today, if I don't use or drink, I won't make those types of decisions. I know I won't hurt myself or others. If I don't hurt myself, I Will not hurt others. I can honestly say, that living a life in Recovery has saved my life. I know for a fact , had I continued to use and abuse, I would be in prison for the rest of my life, or I would be dead. On October 31, 2002, I made a decision to turn my will and my life over to a power greater than myself. A power of positive influence that I choose to call My Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. 

I will be celebrating 14 years of continuous sobriety from All mind altering substances. If I can be rescued from the pits of the devil's playground, so can you. I Love you. I hope this reaches someone that thinks there is no way out. I tell myself each and everyday "Kevin, keep fighting for your life, because you are worth it, you are here for a reason, you were spared to be exactly where you are." So, I say to whom ever this reaches, "keep fighting for your life, because YOU are more worth it." I can say, give yourself a chance to make a different decision, you might be surprised, I know I was and still am.

I am now just getting my feet wet in addiction advocacy. I am also taking the Peers Recovery Specialist training. I also attended the Unite To face Addiction Rally, that was held last year in Washington D.C. Some people would say I am a mentor, I say, I just talk to people and give them something different to think about, perspective. 
                                                                I Love You.