By Daniel Wittler
I was 18 when I tried my first drug. I stayed away from them all during high school while playing baseball, I was actually very afraid of drugs during that time. My first week of college however, somebody in my dorm had a joint rolled with pot and offered it to me, I didn’t think twice about it. From that day on I wanted to be stoned every single day, day and night. I found something that took away my mental anguish and problems momentarily. I’ve been looking for something to do that my whole life. I lasted in college for another 3 semesters and before I knew it, I was moving back home and I could not of been more ashamed of myself. In October of 2008 I was offered some percocet from a friend of a friend and I again, didn’t think twice and said yes.
Once I started taking opiates I was hooked almost instantly and formed a habit within a month. I was a slave to the drug in no time and all of a sudden had a new full-time job that required me to not only make sure I can find drugs every single day, but required me to have the money for such an expensive habit. It is an ugly time when an addict needs his drugs but does not have money, I personally turned to stealing money from my mother, my mother who has always loved me unconditionally and always been there for me. It crushes me inside to think of it. I got caught by her around 2010 and that is when I was sent to my dual-diagnosis treatment center.
I never had a bad experience in rehab, I have been to several and was always respectful and compliant. The issues would come once I discharged from treatment. I was suggested to do certain similar things each time I went. Get a sponsor, go to meetings, work the steps, and I would always be told to surrender. I gladly welcomed the knowledge to anyone who gave it to me but once I was on my own outside of treatment I did not actively do much of it. This started an ugly 5 year cycle between being in treatment, going to half way, getting kicked out and being homeless and then back to treatment again. I maintained some decent stints of sobriety but nothing would stick. I was not giving it my all.
My last time in treatment I had a therapist who made it clear that I had to be ‘all-in’ in recovery otherwise I would be falling flat on my face the rest of my life. I was someone who gave everything a half measure. It was the most common thread in all my life. Once I made the decision to go all-in with recovery it was a game changer. All in meant not only taking all suggestions but following through and doing them ASAP. It also meant I had to be honest not only with everyone in my life but especially myself. I finally felt what it meant to surrender, it meant my life is no longer up to my decisions but to those who god puts in my life and to where ever the universe takes me. It is a wild concept but once I accepted these things, life got a lot better. It was not a coincidence. Please, if you are struggling, ask someone for help, someone with your best interest and has some experience getting sober. They will never steer you wrong. Life is so worth living after years of feeling like it was not.
Daniel Wittler is a writer in recovery from South Florida. He is passionate about sharing his story to show that absolutely anyone can get sober provided they are ready to take the correct actions.