Alumni Spotlight- Recovery Success Story



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The ultimatum is life or death. Years of painful experience had finally led me to complete desperation. .  I had finally hit rock bottom in every sense of the word. I’m a 22-year-old honors student, drug-addict, and alcoholic with a strong affinity for whiskey, heroin, and meth. At the cusp of defeat and an impending death, I had come to the realization that I would ironically have to fight for my life by surrendering completely

It’s all fun and games until, suddenly, it’s not anymore. When using drugs habitually, this is when things get tragically real and very, very dark. After graduating high school with a cumulative 4.2 GPA, honors, and a scholarship to a university, celebratory partying seemed only necessary; I mean, everyone was doing it. So alcohol and marijuana was an occasional party staple I would partake in. Then, rather quickly, party drugs like ecstasy and “Molly” showed up to the party. Now, with the gate wide open, I was open-minded to cocaine and prescription pills of all sorts, first taken orally and then snorted. Long story short, methamphetamine and heroin became a habitual thing, accepted thing by the newfound sketchy group of characters one gravitates to at this point in addiction. And they were cheaper, stronger, and even more so when done intravenously.

These events of my drug use did not transpire in a linear fashion. The rate at which the drugs increased in their strength, danger, and frequency of use was exponential. Inversely, the quality of my life decreased exponentially. I lost possessions. I lost friends. I lost family. I was left with nothing but a shell of myself, dope-sick, broke and contemplating suicide out of shame and guilt. Terrified of another withdrawal and seizure along with the strong influence of my parents, the only people with some faith in me left, I checked myself into South Orange County Detox. Little did I know that this place, the director of SOCD and everyone involved would save my life and help to transform it into something truly beautiful.

But after my first two months, my old unhealthy lifestyle and behavior started to make me overconfident in a detrimental way. Naïve during my first time trying to get sober, I did not see the signs of a relapse. Unbeknownst to me, relapse is a deceivingly slippery slope.

I went out with this new girl I honestly knew nothing about, with distasteful intentions, and ended up relapsing on alcohol and methamphetamine almost immediately. The truly terrifying thing to me afterwards was how quickly I threw my sobriety away when I tried to have control over drug use in my life. For the first time in my life, all of the clichés I heard at AA meetings made complete sense to me. An alcoholic or drug addict cannot control and manage his or her life while doing drugs. And I realized then that I am completely an alcoholic and a drug addict. An unfortunate but necessary relapse showed me true powerlessness and allowed me to finally begin true recovery for the sake of myself.

The purpose of all of this, the solution I am trying to convey ultimately boils down to willingness. Willingness is to be able to accept powerlessness and management over my life when using drugs and alcohol. Following this, the next step for me was to be willing and open to filling the void of this powerlessness with a power greater than myself: my Higher Power as I understand him. I am now at the point in my recovery and sobriety where I finally have a deep spiritual connect with something inconceivably greater, unfathomable, and omnipresent that I can instill trust and faith into. I am willing and I have faith that I have a purpose and, for today, I will remain sober and cherish the life I was given.