Before surrendering my life to recovery, I was on a continual path of destruction. No matter how hard I tried, on my own, to correct my problems, the choices always resulted in chaos. Everything about me was unmanageable. I did whatever I could to change the way I felt. Eventually, I found that drugs could do this for me. I was able to relieve the pain without having to do any real work on myself. Although the relief was only temporary, I found that if I continued to abuse drugs daily, I could numb out all the pain. The decision to live this lifestyle resulted in constant turmoil. I lost all the trust of my family and friends, and I could not go one day without lying to or manipulating the people in my life. Repetitive self-centeredness was the only way I knew how to live. Even though the outside was in shambles, it did not compare to the mayhem I felt on the inside. The most painful result of the selfishness in my life was the feeling of being spiritually dead inside.
Recovery has given me so much. I now walk through life with freedom from active addiction, which is the greatest gift. I am a responsible citizen who gives back to my community. I have been able to start school again and am only two semesters away from graduating with a degree in psychology. Today, I have meaningful and trust-based relationships with family and friends.
I volunteer with Navigate Recovery, because I believe that, with help, people have the power to change. Addiction does not have to be an everlasting part of life. I volunteer because a safe place with others just like me allowed me to realize the hope that change is not only possible but achievable. I am excited about the possibilities, knowing that this organization helps others who were and are just like me. It’s my chance to personally help by giving back the hope that was freely given to me.
This community effort is essential, because addiction is not something that affects only the individual—the entire community feels the impact of addiction. Together, with help from others in our community, we can change the stigma that comes with addiction and we can transform the community for the better.
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