Recovery Hero: Zachariah Garcia

My name is Zachariah and I have been in long term recovery for 3 years from illicit substances, and in recovery from prescribed drugs for over two years. During my time in recovery, I was able to build trust on a mutual scale with staff that was instrumental in this point of my life. I was able to accept the help that was offered to me and by doing so I have been working to secure that trust and allow it to build a continuous relationship. I was full blown in my substance use disorder by the age of 13, running the streets of Denver until I was 21. Then I was sentenced to the Department of Corrections. Since 1996, the total time that I spent out of prison is less than 2 years. In my 49 years of life, I have spent over a quarter of a century incarcerated. I have spent most of my time in violent institutions, all due to my drug use.

In my experience, I feel my lowest point was doing 2 years straight in solitary confinement, with no TV and no radio. The only thing I had access to was a bed and a sink. I dug myself into such a deep hole, and I continued to put myself in the hole, and the staff in DOC decided that something needed to change. The staff gave me opportunities to do different things and focus on spending my time productively.

Today, I am giving back to my community, I am House Manager at the Redemption Project, and I put myself in a position to help my community and contribute to bettering our living situation. I also contribute to my community by leading by example. And assisting other men with similar struggles to recognize and revitalize their lives.

“The world stopped and spun in the other direction;

 this was done to get the attention of your affection.

The water seized and remained perfectly still.

 Just in case not to disturb the peace and calm you may feel.

The sun’s rays showed but without any real flair,

 though they did radiate, they knew they could not compare.

The sky was blue because your beauty passed time and space.

Every clock lowered their hands and slowly bowed their face.

In the presence of loveliness unlike any ever before.

The gates of the earth were open as was in heaven, every door.

The stars twinkled and winked as they gazed upon you.

Your name was proclaimed admirably and all I say is true.”

– Zachariah Garcia