What was life like in active usage?
During active addiction, to put it simply, my life was a living hell. My day-to-day life was absolutely controlled by drugs. Be it doing whatever I had to do to get money to use, going to get the drugs, or using them, my entire world revolved around them. They felt like my only escape, when in reality, they were my cage. Towards the end I was so tired of living like that that I would have done anything in my power to make it stop, but every time I did it was only a matter of time until I ended up in a deeper hole then the one I had just climbed out of.
How did you come into contact with CARES?
Towards the end of my addiction, I was arrested for things that I had done to get money for drugs, and the police sent me to Saint Clare’s Hospital in Boonton to meet with C.A.R.E.S. and detox. That was the first time I had ever heard about C.A.R.E.S. However, I ran from the hospital so I could go use. Big mistake, as I was arrested again a week later, this time for possession. Pro tip: Don’t run from a hospital when the police sent you there in the first place. They will arrest you again. Whoops. This was the bottom of all of my bottoms, and who else but C.A.R.E.S. was there waiting to meet with me and give me the help that I so desperately wanted and needed.
Since connecting with CARES, how has your life changed?
It was that day that my life changed forever. If you would have told me that I would be where I am in life today, I’d have called you a fu***** lunatic, and asked you for some of whatever you were on. I will not try to put into words how deeply grateful and blessed I am that C.A.R.E.S. came into my life today, because any way I could attempt to word it would never it justice.
Over all, What has life in recovery been for you?
My life in recovery has been one long, strange trip to say the least. This March was one year from that day. In that time I started renting a 2 bedroom house, a huge accomplishment for someone who was homeless a year ago. I met the love of my life, and we are now happily engaged. I have started to rebuild my relationship with my 2 sons and their mother. We still can grind each other’s gears, but today, we work through it. I know they are behind me in everything I do, and that is truly a blessing. I started a new job, and after putting in as much effort as I put into feeding my addiction into this job, it turned into a career that I love. During certification classes this year our company stayed at a casino, and I somehow managed not to gamble the house away while also getting certified in my trade. I know, I couldn’t believe it I either. However, most importantly, I managed to find comfort in the struggle that is life, and that is the greatest gift of all.
What would you say that is hopeful to anyone who is struggling?
If you are reading this and are struggling, please reach out and ask for help! I didn’t recover alone, it was through the help of others that I was able to find the path to the place I have found myself in life. It does get better, I promise. Keep on loving, keep on fighting, and hold on.