From Addict to Healer:
Justin Talks About Addiction, Recovery and Giving Back in His Role as Alumni Coordinator at PBI
I came into recovery three and a half years ago, I had been kicked out of every halfway house in West Palm Beach and eventually landed in the last place that would take me. Despite this being my last opportunity to not be homeless again, I continued to use. The owner of the treatment center did something very different when he caught me using. He sat me down and explained the disease of addiction and why it was that I continued using despite facing such consequences. After we talked he kicked me out for 2 weeks. I continued to use but gained a true understanding of the powerlessness I possessed due to the disease. At the end of the 2 weeks the owner of the treatment center allowed me to come back. He appointed me a sponsor and I began to put the work in on my steps. My sponsor described the disease in medical terms and asked if I fully understood. I had resigned myself to being an addict of the hopeless variety and fully understood the limitations of human power where this problem was concerned. I understood that self-will, as defined in the literature, would mean of failure. So, I finally began to accept spiritual help.
I began an inventory of the areas of my life where my selfishness had always shown up. I reviewed my relationships with others and understood that long before the drugs and alcohol I felt loneliness, guilt, shame, anger, anxiety, and depression. These feelings were what drugs had covered up for me. However the solution of drugs had ceased working. I had been resigned to the fact that these troubling feelings were the result of my selfishness. I talked to my sponsor with my character defects, and asked God to remove them all. I made a list of the people I had harmed and began to make amends to every one of them.
The obsession to drink and use was lifted from me and never returned. The feelings I had suffered most of my life began to dissipate and life became meaningful again. I enhanced my prayer and meditation and kept a spot-check inventory. I began to carry the message I received to other addicts and contact with them became the greatest part of my days. My life began to have purpose and the things I had longed for were now coming to fruition. I became a son, a lover, a friend, and a man with integrity and honor. The gifts I have received from the steps go far beyond anything of this world. I know true joy and grace today.