12 Step Planet - Chris H.
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Stories about addiction and recovery, Clean and Sober life styles

A few of you have been asking for my story how I got to where I am today in my sobriety. So, here it is, its nothing fantastic or super exciting; its just another story of experience, strength, and hope to share. My first trip down sobriety lane was in 2009 after 22yrs of drug abuse, heavy drinking, homelessness, helplessness, healthlessness, and crime. I went to rehab and I was afraid of what to expect. I thought it was gonna be like jail or detox. It was the complete opposite. The people were nice, the counselors were helpful and after 7.5 months there I completed treatment. I was offered a job with the rehab and I proudly accepted. It wasn't but a month had gone by that the pride I felt had turned to shame once again. It was my first relapse. I tried to hide it by drinking lots of energy drinks and playing it off like nothing happened. I managed to put two weeks together before I had gone back out again. This had went on for six months or so before the rehab had asked for a urine sample. I packed my bags, quit both jobs I was working and went home. Now you know what I did as soon as I got there, right? Went right back to the old people, places, things I was familiar with. I was back out for 18 months; more jail, more charges, and habits beyond my control. So I cried to go back to the rehab I completed and they allowed me to come back. Yeah, that didn't last long. 4months and I took my will back saying as I left that ill be fine and I got this. I didn't have my bags unpacked and I was running with the devil all over again. This had gone on for five months; and in those five months I managed to get another charge, more time in jail, even more habits than before and now I'm sick from drinking too much. I was at my wits end. I couldn't stand my life anymore and it seems that I had that moment of clarity that everyone talks about, but never experienced myself until that point. It was time to get sober and learn to stay that way. I finally had seen what was holding me back all these yrs and it was time to let go of it all. I asked again to be allowed back to rehab and they reluctantly said yes. I was warned that this would be my last trip here and if I didn't get it this time that I was on my own. So this time I put the work in, built up a network, actually talked to my sponsor instead of just using him for rides to meetings and booked a flight to hawaii. What I had come to learn was that I had to get away from all the people who were doing the same thing I was doing; using and abusing and enabling me. Its been 15 months since I last picked up a drink or drug. Of course just because I moved 6000 miles away from home that all my problems went away. I can look around and still see a little of my old self in everyone. Today I'm a happier person. I'm very grateful for the people god has put in my life, because without them, I'd probably be dead or in jail or just another rehab. Hopefully the msg I sent will help at least one person in their recovery, because without us spreading the msg and sharing our story, all we'd have is the literature and sometimes that just isn't enough.   Thx. Chris H.