It’s Harmless Right?
Michael’s addiction started with something that most people see as socially acceptable, he started drinking Alcohol at 16 years old.
For him, this quickly escalated from social dirking to getting drunk on a regular basis and smoking marijuana. After this became a normal thing to him, he started adding harder drugs.
“I started using harder drugs, like pills, Cocaine and different things of that sort. I never really thought that I had a problem, I thought that everything was just a lot of fun,” Michael said.
At this point, he didn’t think that his actions were affecting anyone else.
“As time went on I slowly started to see the effects of what I did.”
Crashing into the Truth
After spending all night out binge drinking and partying, Michael decided that he wanted to drive to a friend’s house.
“I remember making a left turn and the next thing I know; I woke up after hitting a parked car.”
He tried to drive away but his car was too damaged to move. This is when he realized that he would have to deal with this situation. It was the first time that he had to face any consequences.
“I didn’t really comprehend what was going to happen, I had never really been in trouble with the cops before – But I knew it was going to be a big deal this time.”
When the owners of the car came out they were more worried about him than they were about their car. Michael thought this was odd since he had had just totaled their car, but he hadn’t seen the cut across his forehead or noticed the blood running down his face.
“In the state that I was in, I didn’t care. I didn’t want anyone to touch me I didn’t care about myself at the time, I was more worried that I wasn’t going to have a car.”
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The cops arrived and wanted to do a field sobriety test, Michael looked at them and said he didn’t want to waste their time or his and admitted that he was drunk.
The cops told him that considering the situation, he has very coherent. He responded that this was his normal state.
“At that time, that’s what I thought. I thought that that was my normal state, that I had to be that way all the time in order to function.”
When Michael was at the police station and finally took a breathalyzer, he was three times over the legal limit.
That night, while sitting in a cell he remembered his parents telling him not to call them if he got in trouble. So that’s exactly what he did – Not call.
Unbeknownst to him, one of his cousins worked at that jail and he called Michael’s parents.
“That was God working for me because otherwise, I would have still been sitting there the next day.”
Getting in a car crash and receiving a DUI was the first time he came to terms with how much he drank and partied.
Admitting it to his family was one of the hardest things he had to do. Michael had moved out of the house when he was 17 so they didn’t know how he had been drinking.
“That was the first time they understood how bad it was. That was the first time my dad told me how much he understands, he had been in my shoes at a point in time in his life.”
Even thought he was still in active addiction he began to understand that he was not alone.
“That’s what really, really helped me out that night and helped me to get through.”
Michael Did the Work
A year after his DUI Michael decided to was time to get help.
He went a year without being able to get his license or his car back. Getting drunk and high was more important than taking care of the things that he needed to.
“I was really hurting myself more and more each time until I just could not take it anymore. I finally reached out to my mom.”
He told her that he needed help and he did research to find a treatment center that he felt was best for him. Michael ended up going to a rehab in Arizona and he hit the ground running.
“I started to take suggestions from day one. They told me to get a sponsor, I got a sponsor. They told me to start working the steps I started working the steps.”
Right away Michael could see the difference that taking these suggestions to heart was making in his life.
He was in treatment for 120 days, then moved right into a sober living, where he stayed for around 8 months. In that time frame, he saw a lot of people come in and out of the program.
“As I was leaving they asked me what the difference was between myself and the other guys that came through and I told then what it came down to was I did the work, I put in the time, the effort. I made those late phone calls when I wasn’t doing okay.”
Michael went back to working in restaurants and soon realized that it was not what he wanted to do. He wanted to help people find what he had. So he got a job in the recovery field.
“I get to watch … the light turn on in their eyes and that’s an awesome experience.”
He never thought that he would be able to really enjoy life, or be happy sober, but 16 months in he is, and he’s able to share that with other people who had the same worries as him.
Even now when he’s feeling the pressures of life he can still call the guys he met in the rooms, and not he has the ability to help others who are having a hard time.
“If you’re feeling lonely, miserable like you just don’t want to go on anymore, we’ve found something that is absolutely amazing. There’s hope, there is peace.”
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction we can help find the treatment center that can give them a chance to get their live back on track call: (866)578-7471