My name is Alex and I have been free of mind- and mood-altering substances since July 31, 2022.
During this time, I am most proud of being able to be the father to my daughter that she deserves. Every day I get to work towards being a better person today, than I was the previous day. I get to be the son, boyfriend, and father that I have always wanted to be- but never was able to be due to my substance use and addict behavior.
The tools I have utilized to initiate and maintain my recovery involve a primary focus and effort towards self-care. Each day I begin and end with taking a least 30 minutes to an hour to focus on myself. Having an awareness of the 8 Dimensions of Wellness and their impact on not only my recovery, but also my overall wellness has had a profound impact on shaping who I am today. Outside of weekly 8 Dimensions support groups, I have found Recovery Dharma, Individual Treatment and Peer Support to be other areas that I have greatly benefitted from.
Prior to finding my recovery, the lowest point during my active use was when my girlfriend and I were unhoused during the whole time of her pregnancy. I reflect back on how unmanageable and chaotic that time was for me, and it makes me cringe thinking about it. I have been asked frequently “Wasn’t it hard getting sober?” and my answer is always “No, not at all. Active use, trying to figure out where my next fix was coming from and how I was going to get it – constantly? THAT is hard.” Not to undermine the work it takes to get clean and sober because it definitely required a significant conscious effort and dedication. With all of the support I have received in my journey, it has definitely made this path much easier.
Today I get to be a pillar in my community and give back to an area that I once received so much support. Today I am a Healthcare Peer Recovery coach and I get to utilize my lived experience to plant the seeds of hope for those that are continuing to struggle. Today I get to actively work to break stigma and discrimination that individuals suffering from Substance Use Disorder face on a daily basis. Today, I get to be the pillar that my community needs, instead of the corrosive nuisance that dismantles our community from the inside-out.