9 years ago today I had my Father and my Wife take me to Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center in Memphis Michigan. I was scared, angry, broke, tired and extremely hapless. I was out in active addiction for 20 years and just wanted to stop the pain that I was causing myself and everyone around me. At this point, I have been shot, stabbed, beaten down and incarcerated more times than I would like admit. I still thought that I had all the answers and that everyone else was wrong, this is why we call it dope. By this time in my process, I have thrown out every value and morel that my parents gave me. I had ended up hurting the people who care about me the most, the worst. To be honest with you all, this was my first and only time I had ever gone to a treatment center. I had no idea what to expect or if it was even going to work. I just wanted the pain to stop and maybe I could figure out how to control my using. After 7 days of detox, I was introduced to the residential side of the building. I was taught about the disease of addiction and the effects it had in my life. I was being schooled and learning why I did the things I did during active addiction. I was still very angry and didn’t like GOD at all. I thought I had become a racist individual, and was shown once again that I was wrong. You see, I wasn’t racist, I hated everyone equally. They taught me that it started with me. How can I love or care about any other people when in fact I hated the person I was. I was taught about the 12 step program and how important it was to go to meetings. I remember when a guy came in to speak to us. He said 1 out of 100 is going to make it. This scarred me and I stood up and told the house that 99 of them are wasting good get high time; I was that 1 that was going to make it. I will never forget the night when I couldn’t sleep, so I went into the chapel. I got on my knees for the first time in many years, I did it. There was not a police man telling me to get on them and I was not carpet farming. I cried and asked a GOD that I was angry at to help me. I asked for the strength to begin living and not existing. Now I didn’t hear any voices, and a dove didn’t fly by me and no light came through the window. But for the first time in 32 years of my life, I had a warmth come into my body that didn’t come from a bottle, a pill, a needle, or a pipe. I didn’t buy it on the streets, or order it at the bar I didn’t rob anyone for it or hurt anyone to get this feeling. Now at this point in my process, I knew I was going to make it. I knew I had to change one thing about me, and that was everything! When I left treatment I did all that was suggested for me to do. I still do these things in my life because it works. I struggled with addiction for 20 years of my existence and the end was always the same. I was broke, I smelled, and people didn’t want me around. I am grateful to GOD for giving me another chance to grow up. I started growing up at the age of 32. It has been 9 years now and I am the only one in my group who is still clean and sober. I am the only one who has not picked back up. This doesn’t make me better than anyone, it makes me happier and more free than anyone. Every day I thank GOD for bringing I into the 12 step program and then I thank the 12 step program for bringing me back to GOD. I was once hapless and now I am full of hope. I was once full of pain and misery and now I am full of joy and happiness. I once existed in this world and now I live LIFE. I am not writing this to say they look at me, I am writing this to everyone who struggles with addiction or has a family member who struggles, that people can change, and it is possible. If GOD can take this once drunken dope fiend who was a selfish self-centered person and show me how to become the person I was intended to all along, then it is possible for everyone!! Thank you GOD, my Wife, Kids, Parents, Brothers, Sisters, Friends, and my recovery Family for never giving up on me even when I gave up on myself!! I live a life that I thought I never deserved; I am Highly Favored and Truly Blessed!!