I can give up and surrender to my disease which for me means certain death or I can continue to fight.

My name is Mike and I am a young person in recovery.  For me that means I haven’t taken a drink or a drug since July 8th of 2014.  I also choose to work a twelve step program of recovery.  I’ve been going to twelve step meetings since 2012.  I’ve been in multiple intensive treatment programs as well as rehabs and outpatient programs.

Over the course of these last few years I’ve relapsed a few times and in the process gained the title “chronic relapser.”  For me, this has been the biggest obstacle to overcome.  It has caused a divide between my family and I.  It’s bad enough that I used to get high by any means necessary.  Which included stealing, lying, and manipulating my family, but to give them the promise of a better me only to give up again and again has taken a major toll on them.  In turn the stigma of once an addict always an addict has come back to bite me.

I do believe that I am an addict and always will be one.  The difference is what I choose to do as an addict.  I can give up and surrender to my disease which for me means certain death or I can continue to fight and in the process live my life the way it should be lived.  The way I deserve to live.  To me, that’s the difference between an addict and a person in recovery.

As such, I’ve had to change everything about myself.  Who I associate with, the way I speak, and the way I dress.  Everything.  In return I’ve discovered the real me and today have a life that I never could have imagined years ago.  It is only through hard work that I have come to gain so much.

There’s a quote which has helped me a lot recently.  It says “if asked what the two most important things in recovery are, I would have to say willingness and action.”  “If willingness is the key to unlock the gates of hell, it is action that opens those doors so that we may walk freely among the living.”

Today, I am taking action.