My Journey to Recovery

by Thomas
(Baltimore, Md.)

I took the ACE survey ( Adverse Childhood Experience)and answer 9 out of 10 question yes. I was told because of my exposer to childhood trauma, I was predisposed to a life of substance use disorder.

My parents were alcoholics. There was a lot of physical, emotional and psychological abuse in my family. Because of all those external reason given to me for the life style I live, I thought I had no control.

I started sniffing airplane glue and drinking alcohol at 10yrs. old. I started intravenously using heroin at age 14. I continue that life style for 35yrs.

After going in to treatment multiple times, and hearing that only 1 out of 10 person entering a substance use treatment facility would be successful. I really got discouraged. To me that was like a subliminal message. All I thought was, because of the external factors that lead me to these choices, I had no control. I felt hopeless and helpless until I thought I was going to die shooting drugs. Until the attraction of that life style worn off.

I started ignoring the premonitions of me being anything but a drug addict, or some other socially undesirable. Eight years ago in January, I walk away from that lifestyle. Kick my drug habit cold turkey and had no relapses. It's all because I don't want to live like that for the moment. Although I do have the option of changing my mind, this moment I'm in now, I choice not to do drugs.

The only time I have control over is "now". That concept of controlling "now" has work for me without a flaw, when it comes to controlling any desires to relapses. I'm now the Executive Director of a consumer run, peer support, Wellness Recovery Community Center for homeless, mental health and substance use disorders population.

The agency is," Helping Other People through Empowerment, Inc." Located in Baltimore Md. Academically I went as far as the 8th grade. I receive my GED in prison in 1976. Every other information I use pertaining to this job is all the lessons, the survival skills and lived experiences, in that lifestyle.
My Journey

My journey down the road of life, had many twists and turns.
The road I travel had lots of bridges, of which most of them I burn.
Although at times that road seem rough, one thing is very clear,
No matter how hard that journey was, That journey lead me here.

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"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
- Matthew 7:7-8

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