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Eric’s Success Story

The disease of addiction has been a part of my life since the day I was born, taking my life away from me little by little. My father was a drug addict, which prevented him from taking part in my upbringing. I was raised by my mother, who did everything she could for me: she worked two jobs to provide for us and taught me to be honest, good, and respect others.

But despite her efforts, I tried drugs and alcohol at the early age of 11. I remember the moment when I first encountered a mind-altering substance… I started with alcohol and marijuana and later moved on to opiates. I was a scrawny little schoolkid, and opiates helped me raise my self-esteem.

After I somehow managed to graduate, I switched to OxyContin. Many of those who I grew up with had died from an overdose. I, on the other hand, had a job and a fiancee. I was 25. Life seemed good, but something was missing. Then the company I worked for closed down and I started using OxyContin again, knowing full well where it would lead me. In just a year, I lost everything. Broken and lonely, I enlisted in the Army. I thought escaping the city would help, but it didn’t work. In the Army, I drank every day, but it wasn’t enough.

I served in Afghanistan and saw things no person should ever have to see. I used heroin to suppress my emotions, and the need to cope with them became an excuse. After I returned home, I kept taking heroin—even after an overdose in front of my family, detoxes, and arrests. In June 2013, I finally signed up for treatment. The drugs stopped working, and I was only hurting those who loved me.

Six months later, my program ended, but people persuaded me to attend group meetings to consolidate the result. I kept attending the meetings, expecting to feel good, happy, and self-aware, but what I didn’t understand was that I needed to make an effort for that to happen.

After two years of being clean, I started a relationship. By that time, I hadn’t been attending the meetings for a while and was feeling like I was in a dark place. I was dissatisfied with my life and no longer wanted to recover. Realizing this, I turned to the community for help and received it. When I started working on myself and my recovery, I managed to achieve certain progress: I got a good job, a new car, and an apartment. I even started dating women again.

Everything was good until I deviated from the program again. I became addicted to the good things I had in my life. It was like a drug, although technically it wasn’t. The disease did a great job finding my weak spots. I managed to hold out for three and a half years. When thoughts about drugs and alcohol became unbearable, I realized that I was in trouble. That was also when I started dating an addict. Watching that person take drugs, I decided to start taking them again myself. That was not long before my four-year anniversary of being clean.

I was taking drugs for about six months, and every day I woke up thinking about treatment, about stopping that pain. Suddenly a voice in my head told me to call my sponsor, who sent me to a detox and then to EcoSoberHouse. I wish I had found that place sooner. I knew I would be surrounded by people with whom I had already gone through that process and who would take care of my interests.

I obediently sat and listened, attended all the groups and meetings—because I knew that I needed it. I needed to see again what my illness could lead to if I let my guard down. I would not have recovered otherwise. If I had left, I’m sure I would not have been able to pull through. That relapse was a good lesson for me. After my second round of treatment, I have a much better understanding of what to do next.

I have been clean for nine months. I never really thought I would get to this level in my life and recovery. I still cannot fully imagine what will happen if I keep taking care of myself and my health. EcoSoberHouse has helped me get back on track, so that I can fulfill my dreams and achieve my goals. I will always be grateful to fate for bringing me to a place full of such selfless and knowledgeable people. I hope my story helps those who also struggle with addiction and suffer from it. Thank you.