- Friends & Family
Submitted by: Abby Foster
Jefferson grew up with alcoholism in his family. “I didn’t want to be like my dad, my brother, my mom, mostly everybody I’m related to.” Denial kept him from sustaining abstinence early in his recovery journey. “I had a couple of years of sobriety, but I wasn’t really completely sold on the fact that I was an alcoholic. Actually, stigma was a lot of that.”
Jefferson came to his turning point gradually, but when he was able to surrender and accept himself things began to change. “Everybody has a different bottom that they hit. I had mine. Legal consequences from drinking and driving, and being faced with seeing what you do doesn’t just affect you. It sounds obvious, cliché, but it took me a long time to really get that. Seeing how my lack of recovery was affecting people around me really led me to get serious.” On August 22, 2016 Jefferson will be celebrating seven years.
“For me, recovery doesn’t mean just not doing the thing you are addicted to that is bad, but replacing that thing with something better.”
Jefferson had always been into fitness, running and martial arts tournaments, but living with active addiction and alcoholism ran counter to that lifestyle. “I was met with limited success when I was trying to achieve goals in life.” In August of 2013 Jefferson returned to his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia to compete. “I won a world championship in full contact sparring. I absolutely without question, would never have been able to do that if I had not been in recovery. Recovery has given me my life back.”
Jefferson has been given his life back and he is using it to be an example for others. He is most proud of being able to set an example for his sons. For the newcomer to recovery he would advise, “It’s okay to fail. You can have bad days, but you don’t have to let that lead you back into active addiction. Take it one day at a time. You don’t have to do everything. You don’t have to win the race, just show up!”