I knew that I had a long road ahead of me. I wanted everything back that I had lost overnight, and that is unfortunately not how life works. After leaving Destination Hope I took the suggestion of not going back home, and back to my old job where drinking and doing drugs was the norm. My therapist said that I needed to change the people, places, and things in my life and that if I didn’t like it in Broward County I could always go back home, but why not give it a shot. I took his suggestion and after hearing a speaker at Destination Hope named Wayne, I decided to go to Fellowship Living Facility. Shortly before leaving treatment, I did pick up a sponsor at an AA meeting. I remember being in those AA meetings gripping the bridge of my nose with my thumb and pointer finger so hard trying to get the message of the meeting. I came to Fellowship and continued working my 12 steps with my sponsor, attended 90 meetings in 90 days, learned the value of service to my community and others, and learned what true friendship and support looked like. I had a house manager named David who was interested in how I was doing during our weekly reviews and would listen to me or just let me cry when things were difficult. I quickly became a part time manager at Fellowship while working a second job marketing hurricane windows and doors in Broward County. I worked as a part time manager mainly doing laundry and bed checks for over a year and was offered a full-time house manager position which I was hesitant to take. I made a choice to be selfless and help others opposed to being greedy and self-absorbed with the thought of fast money and an exit plan.
I got engaged with my community, began sponsoring other men who to this day are still clean and sober, and learned valuable life lessons on what it is like to be an outstanding member of a much larger community. I learned to be an example for others, and someone for younger individuals to look up to as a roll model. I experienced a psychic change somewhere along the way, where I realized that going the opposite direction is not an option because I would not change the life I have today for anything in the world. Recovery has not been easy, from dealing with the death of my mother this year due to breast cancer without her being able to ever recover from her addiction was very hard, to seeing countless friends who I have met before and after entering recovery die from opioid overdoses to family members dying from alcoholism, without mentioning the difficulties associated with dealing with all the barriers in recovery associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The program of AA told me that I would have a life beyond my wildest dreams and that is so true. Today I am content and happy with the person I am today, with my flaws and all. I have a connection with my higher power that I hold dearly and is personalized to me. I no longer must lie and cheat my way around life to get what I want, being honest in all my affairs is who I am today, and my peers respect my integrity and honesty. I have worked for Fellowship now for almost 3 years, still work marketing the windows on the weakened, and have gotten back everything I lost plus so much more. Over a year ago I began the process through the courts to begin seeing my daughter again after 9 years of being estranged. On my birthday July 27th, 2021, the courts ruled that I have 50/50 custody of my daughter, and our relationship is growing every day. On my birthday the attorney I retained for my child custody case let me know that July 27th, 2017, was his 4-year sober anniversary, which is a true example of how God is working in my life today. I just took my daughter to the Glass Animals Concert in St. Augustine, Florida and that experience was priceless. My daughter and I speak daily on facetime, and the happiness I get from seeing her face light up and call me daddy is priceless.
I went back to school and last month graduated with an Associates of Arts in Psychology, got my driver’s license back, worked on my credit and not only financed a beautiful 2018 Honda Accord Sport but also financed a car for one of my sisters. Its amazing that my sisters were the ones who helped me get into recovery, and now I can help them. Like many people before me in recovery, I am smart, hardworking, and caring, but have a disease that is both mental and physical. I’m so happy that I have been able to turn over a new leaf and come out of the dark alley that is a part of who I am, but does not define who I am.