My name is Nick, I’m a grateful Christian in recovery, and this is my story of recovery.
Growing up, I was an athlete. I played sports all the way through high school, and I especially enjoyed basketball and football. Towards the end of my high school career, I started experimenting more with drugs and drinking. A friend of mine on the football team broke his leg and got prescribed painkillers. I was young and was experimenting and he offered me two of them. I took them, and from that moment I knew that I found something I really liked. I loved the feeling that it gave me – I had no anxiety, no fear—I just felt like I belonged.
I ended up using these painkillers on a daily basis. I soon found out that I needed them to be normal, just to function. I needed opiates to sleep, to eat, to work, to regulate my emotions. My body was in shock if I didn’t have them. After a while, I started to get heavier and heavier into the drugs and I ended up doing heroin. This is where I lost everything. I started shooting up heroin, and soon after lost my job and multiple jobs thereafter. I crashed my car going 85 miles an hour along Alligator Alley. I lost multiple friends, and no one trusted me. I lost the trust of my parents. I was pretty much by myself.
I lived a lonely life, completely without hope. I remember looking in the mirror and I didn’t recognize who I was. I had lost so much weight and looked like a skeleton. I didn’t have goals or any plans for the future. It was just looking forward to getting high today so I could make it to tomorrow. And after a while, I was so involved in that lifestyle that I didn’t care about what my friends were doing. I was so wrapped up in myself. I couldn’t see a future. I thought I was going to die this way.
I tried multiple rehabs and everything I could to get clean, but it never worked for me. I ended up overdosing and woke up in the hospital. That was my moment of clarity because I realized that I could have died. My mom wouldn’t have a son anymore, my brother wouldn’t have his brother anymore. My cousins wouldn’t have their cousin. It was in that moment that I realized that I had to change something. I knew there was a way out because I’ve seen other people do it, I just never could on my own.
It was then that I found Justin’s Place Recovery Program. I didn’t know who I was anymore, and had lost all hope. I was really desperate when I came in, but I wanted to change. I slowly began trusting people again. I started making new friends, learning more about myself, figuring out who I was and what my purpose was in life. I started to realize I could do this – I could actually recover from my addiction. The way that the program is set up, everything comes together in the end. They say that it’s a journey, not a destination and I believe that. This is a lifelong journey. And Justin’s Place helps you get those first steps to living a sober life.
Today, I wake up every morning and I’m genuinely happy. I have a whole new routine- I do my devotions and I go to the gym every morning. I started a company and get to work with my dad and my brother. Who would have ever thought I would start a business?! Life is better than I ever could have imagined. I never in a million years would have thought I would be where I am today. I’m truly happy and grateful. I have great friends and a family that loves and supports me. They are proud of me!
I thank God, the Justin’s Place Recovery Program at St. Matthew’s House, and my family for sticking by me. It’s all for a reason and a purpose. I truly believe that God has a reason for my life and for everyone else in this program.
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