My name is Lawrence and I am a person in long term recovery, which for me means I have not used any mind or mood altering substances including, but not limited to, narcotics and alcohol. I have recovered from a hopeless state of mind and body by having a necessary and vital spiritual experience sufficient enough to break the chains of addiction. I continue to do the simple things on a daily basis that has sustained my recovery this far, such as prayer, meditation and especially helping others to climb out of the pit of despair.
All I wanted growing up was to be loved and accepted. For a long time I had gotten exactly what I wanted. I grew up in a household with two loving parents who loved me for who I was and gave me the world. I believe today that I was born with an addictive mind, and all it took was exposure to addictive substances to become my solution, my crutch. Out of grade school is where the telltale symptoms and behaviors started to manifest. I increasingly became isolated, depressed, hopeless and helpless. I became disobedient, dishonest, hurtful towards people and even stealing here and there.
Here, for many is where the story begins, but for me started a bit later. I had staved off the normal peer pressure in high school and the beginning of college, as I was disinterested. It was only until about my second year of college that I began experimenting. The old threadbare idea of “feeling different” and a desire to fit in and be accepted got the best of me. It began innocent enough but after a short time, these substances started to define me. They became my solution, my love affair, the “A HA” moment where my insides exclaimed “this is what I have been looking for my whole life” and “this is what will help me deal with this cruel and unfair world.” It only took a few months to go from a “weekend warrior” to a daily consumer.
This went on for several years without consequences. I had normal, good paying jobs, relationships and was well taken care of. I had a few close calls with the police that I narrowly escaped arrest and that only fueled my feeling of invincibility.
Soon things began to come crashing down. I began to wreck cars, relationships and trust with those who loved me. I got a DWI, which ended up being a slap on the wrist, but people around me began to be concerned. I tried to control or moderate my drinking/using to no avail. Eventually I gave up and succumbed to the desire. I refused to believe the things that I loved so much were my problem. Denial to the end. I began to experiment with more potent drugs which all ended disastrously. Fed up with life, I tried to commit suicide. More legal troubles and increasing dependence lead me to lose everything. I had nowhere to turn but to ask for help. It was around this time, admitting defeat, I was twelve stepped by sober family members and embarked on the journey of recovery.
It was only when I lost everything, that I was free to do anything. Recovery gave me everything I have today. It has not been easy, but it has been worth it. I overcame losing a best friend, several family members, and a major surgery in recovery. Despite all of that and more, I never once had the desire to self medicate again. I can say that I have tied up all the loose ends I was ignoring all those years. I successfully completed treatment, probation and earned back my privilege to drive and the respect of my family. I found suitable work for the first time in years. I found the woman of my dreams who walks hand in hand with me on this journey. We have travelled all over the country to conventions to carry the message, and show others how to have fun in recovery. I work night and day to help others in need, and in turn it helps me by ridding myself of selfishness. I can proudly say that I am an honest, responsible, hardworking and caring member of the human race. You can’t find that in any bottle, pill or bag.