- Friends & Family
Submitted by: Susanne Johnson
Today, Ben works as a certified peer specialist at Lakeside Recovery in Memphis. He does a lot of transportation, peer support and working with other addicts. He, himself, is in recovery from crystal meth. His addiction started like so many with the consumption of alcohol at the early age of 13 and gradually got up to marijuana, cocaine and finally meth at around 22.
At the age of thirty, Ben finally entered recovery. On the day of the Heroes in Recovery 6K in Memphis he celebrated seven years of continuous sobriety. He states, “This day, seven years ago, was the day that changed the course of my life. I ended up going to treatment after I got arrested for the first time in my life. It woke me up. I knew I had a problem and I needed help to solve it.”
Before that happened, Ben was actually feeling bulletproof and was bragging that he must not have a problem since he has never been arrested in his life. Ben got arrested with meth manufacturing charges, which would be a felony. Since he never was in any trouble before in his life, he got diversion which meant that if he would not get in any other legal problems for two years, his case would be expunged and he would not have any felonies on his record. “It worked for me. If I would have been doing what I was supposed to be doing, I would most likely not be standing here right now. It worked out, but it could have been very bad.” Ben added, “Now at Lakeside Hospital, I can help others.”
Ben had a good job as a supervisor at a warehouse and made good money, but he was not content on his job. A couple of years ago, he felt as if God is telling him that he wasn’t in the right business. It made him change his profession and start working in the field, where he can be of service to others who have similar problems as he had with drugs and alcohol. He previous job wasn’t fulfilling anymore. Today, when he comes home from work he sleeps very well. Today he makes a difference.
“Don’t give up before the miracle happens. You really got to work it. It’s a simple program, but you have to give it all you’ve got,” says Ben. “And if you do go to treatment, listen to what they say.” Ben goes to various different 12-step meetings, not only driving the clients there, but also taking care of his own serenity.
As he stopped methamphetamines, he started eating. He gained a lot of weight before he got active in his recovery again. “I traded one addiction for the other,” Ben adds, “I got really big.” Now he has lost 80 pounds again over a one-year duration. He is not where he wants to be, but he is a lot closer and working on it. He loves to run on the treadmill and this 6K is his first ever outdoor run. Ben mentions that he finds a lot of his inner peace while being in the gym today. The hospital he works for came with a huge team to attend the run and raise awareness for recovery to help break the stigma.