The most important thing I did for my recovery was become open and willing to take suggestions. First, I practiced honesty, I was unable to be honest with myself, let alone anyone else. Second, people suggested I practice being open-minded and willing, and I did this by getting more involved with a 12-step fellowship. The fellowship allowed me to be a part of something larger than myself.
I started to have fun again. Laughter and bowling after fellowship meetings helped me stay clean for 18 months. Things were getting better for me, except that I still could not find a job. Nobody wanted to hire a felon. I learned humility by taking a job at a local halfway house, making one third of the money I used to make. But, I did find that I’m really good at helping other people.
Around the time that I was clean for three years, I got off probation. I no longer had to go to meetings, I was free to do what I wanted. I took the time to reflect on the past three years and thought about how far I had come, and what was possible if I continued my recovery journey. I did not pick up.
This is why I am sharing my story. I finally got a break, one of my good friends helped me get hired at ACRP. I worked my last shift in treatment and was excited to begin a new job. And then, my girlfriend relapsed. I buckled down, I had to work full time and raise and 18-month-old baby alone. I learned to show up on time and be in position, always do my best, and never give up.
Many times in recovery I wanted to give up, but I surrounded myself with men that knew where I was and were willing to pick me up. Today, I continue to work with a sponsor to deepen my understanding of the spiritual principals that guide my life today. I just celebrated seven years clean, and got my dream job. We can recover!