What is your Sober Date? Tell us a short paragraph on how you are living your best life now post addiction and recovery?
My sobriety date is 5/22/2014. My life is amazing now that I am in recovery. The past five years have been a roller coaster of love, pain, growth, challenge, and service. I am so grateful that I get to have an authentic connection to a higher power that I thought that I was never worthy or able to connect with. My life has gotten better each year that I continue to do the recovery work. I am involved a 12-step community and I practice the principals in all my affairs. I have a great job as an addiction counselor working with alcoholics and drugs addicts seeking help from their addictions. I have a beautiful girlfriend and a great step son. My life has been rocketed into the fourth dimension. The promises have come true in my life, but I can’t stress enough about the work that I put in. I am constantly trying to be of service and always there for others. I continue to grow spiritually as well as mentally and emotionally. I have a new-found comfort in my own skin and a happiness that I never thought was possible. Recovery is the greatest gift that I have ever received.
How did addiction keep you from living your best life?
Addiction worked great at first, it was fun, and I honestly enjoyed it first but then it turned on me. Heroin and crack addiction robbed me of my spirit and took all my self-worth away from me. Addiction held me back from pursing my dreams and it took every relationship that I had away from me until I became isolated and alone. Addiction created so much pain even though I was under the delusion that it was helping me with pain. I lost a lot of time and damn near lost my life because of my addiction.
What and who guided you toward an addiction free journey?
Honestly, I had a moment of clarity in my addiction. I was homeless and on the run. I got into a position where I had nowhere else to go. I lost and broken! That’s when I went home and told my mom that I needed help, or I was going to die. I had warrants and a nasty heroin habit. My mother brought me to the hospital and got me into detox. This is where my journey started. I believe my mother and my higher power were working very hard to help mom my addiction free journey.
What plan and steps did you take to get out of addiction?
I turned myself into detox. Then I turned my self into jail. I spent 30 days in jail then I got accepted into a long term 12 step-based rehab. That program called The Men’s Extension was the best thing that ever happened to me. I got in that program and I took it very seriously.
When did you decide it was time to take action?
Immediately, I knew I had dug a very deep hole and the only way out was up! I worked my ass off in therapy and I worked the 12 steps like my life depended on it. Through that process I had a profound spiritual experience like Bill W. and from that moment on I knew I was in the right place. I have not turned my back on the program one day since having that experience.
What was at stake for you if you didn't take these actions to get sober?
Honestly my life and or freedom was at stake. If I relapsed, I could have died. If I got kicked out of the program, I would have served the rest of my time on probation in jail because I was mandated to the recovery program.
For someone in the same situation as you were who wants to get clean, what would you want to tell them?
Take all the suggestion and work your program like your life depends on it. If you take half of the effort that you put into your addiction and put in your recovery you will be amazed. Trust the process because if I can get sober, anybody can.
Sean Owen is an addiction counselor, certified experiential specialist, and a recovery coach based in Atlanta, Ga. When he is not working in the addiction field, he is spending time with his family or doing fun things out doors like hiking. Sean loves to meditate and exercise. You can follow him on Instagram @seanowen8
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