I let my drinking and drug addiction take me to the depths of Hell. My so called friends were the hounds of Hell. We caused chaos, anarchy and destruction to everyone who crossed our paths. I was a self-centered and selfish person. Life was all about me.
I did not grow up in a bad family; I always had good jobs, I had a nice house, a wife and four wonderful kids. I destroyed all of that, not only with my drinking and drug use, but my heroin addiction took me to places, at times, I do not want to discuss but I need too. This helps keep me sober.
My hope is that if I can reach one person a day, with a shade of hope to walk away from the drugs, get right with their God and live a true life of honesty, things will get better one day at a time.
My journey landed me twice in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Both times for driving related charges. My last time was my third DWI for drinking and overdosing on heroin and hitting two cars and putting four people in the hospital. Thank God they were all ok.
In my last journey to prison I found my God and my calling– to give back and help others who were just like me. My wife of 17 years divorced me, I lost our dream house to foreclosure and all respect from my kids and the few friends I had left.
I walked out of prison on December 16, 2013 and moved back to Naperville, Illinois, close to enough to walk to meetings. I started to get involved in the movement against the heroin epidemic and started an opiate recovery group for the addicts and the family members of addicts. Now, I am a certified naloxone (Narcan) trainer. Naloxone is a drug that reverses the effects of an overdose.
On August 1, 2014 my 20 year old son died from a heroin overdose. I spoke to him two days prior to get him some naloxone (just in case) and he said, “Dad, I am not on that BS anymore.” When I got to the hospital with my ex-wife and went to the ER the person that came to greet us was the chaplain. My first thought was, “I need to hit the 6 pm support meeting tonight” and I did that.
We laid my son to rest that Tuesday and that Thursday I ran my naloxone training group as planned that week. I am grounded in the 12 steps and getting out of myself to help others. Yes, it hurts deeply that I lost my son to this disease we have, but my recovery must be number one.
Today I am 100% clean and sober thanks to my own efforts, a 12 step program, my God and some great people. My mission is to give back in any way, shape or form, not only with the addicts who still suffer but with the parents who have an addict causing pain and heartache in their lives. I also have a 20 year old son lost in his addiction. We are a community and we need to help each other out. That is why I do what I do!
Recovery does not suck.