My name is Chad M, and I’ve been clean since October 2019. My life is full, but it wasn’t always this way. I felt powerless in my addiction, and the freedom I feel now is indescribable. While I pride myself on my purpose-driven life, I was haunted by an emptiness that grew within me from a very young age. I felt a void my entire life. My father, an alcoholic, committed suicide when I was five. To replace the absence of my father, and the subsequent grief I experienced, I looked for acceptance in the wrong places.
I was susceptible to peer pressure, acceptance seeking, and alcohol & drug use. It began in small ways. I wanted to be friends with the ‘cool kids’, to do what they wanted to do, even if it meant going against my better judgment. I needed to feel like I was part of something. I wanted, more than anything, to belong. As I grew older, I continued to fill my life with things I felt were missing. I thought that if I created a life that I never had, it would heal me. I believed I could outrun the emptiness within me if I chased after my dreams. I got married, had a son of my own, earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice, and opened my own successful business. Despite all of this, the abyss remained.
I was living the ‘American Dream’, down to the white picket fence, but I continued on my path of addiction, as I was unfulfilled. Despite having everything I ever wanted, I was miserable and lost. I lived a very adult life, yet I remained childlike in many ways. I experienced horrible things while I was using, and I still couldn’t stop. I was pronounced dead on two separate occasions, but I continued to use, no matter what. I was so deep within my addiction that when I witnessed a friend, who was like a father to me, overdose, I chased my high further before calling the ambulance. When I awoke hours later, he was dead. I was devastated and riddled with guilt.
I knew I needed to address the root of my addiction that had such a hold on me. I needed to change my life. People say it’s important to love yourself. I didn’t know how to do that. I started from square one. I needed to relearn every part of life. I was self-obsessed. I didn’t understand how to solve problems or live as a healthy adult. I didn’t know how to parent. I believed in nothing. I didn’t believe in God. I needed to work the steps to walk into my true self. I had to give up control. I needed to learn boundaries and the principle of awareness. I needed to ‘Let go and let God’; I needed to be present, and I needed to live my life with integrity.
When I first entered recovery, I went on a hike. For the first time in my life, I saw my surroundings with new eyes. I felt the warmth of sunshine on my skin. I heard the birds chirping in the trees. I soaked in life, unmediated by substances, and I appreciated all the little things around me. I felt grateful for all that I had been through because I wouldn’t have been able to value the light unless I had lived in darkness.
Through my sobriety, I started to understand my value and set boundaries within my life. I had always worn my heart on my sleeve, and worried what others would think of me. On my journey, I learned that I needed to focus on love and consistently and that the rest would follow. I learned to trust, and somewhere along the way, a weight was lifted from my shoulders. God became my priority, my anger dissipated, and I began to love more. I became a better father to my son. I became present, and I began to live.
That isn’t to say it’s been easy. There have been many challenges. After nine months of being clean and sober, I received a call informing me that my mother had died of a drug overdose. I had numbed myself for so long that I didn’t know how to accept her death. I felt distressed. I felt orphaned. I felt alone. I realized that grief had been such a large part of my life, and I turned to God. With His help, and through my faith, I understood that no matter what, I would be okay.
The gift of desperation is what keeps me clean. I embrace my faults, and I’ve found enough self-love to hold my head high despite them. I now know who I am, and I know what I’m capable of. The best part about being sober is being a sponsor for Narcotics Anonymous and helping others that have been in my shoes.
My life has changed beyond the removal of drugs from my life. I didn’t understand how to live. I didn’t know how to manage myself, my emotions, or my finances. I felt as if everything I touched fell apart around me, and I constantly had to look over my shoulder in fear of facing the damage I had caused. Through God’s love, I have been able to move forward with acceptance and understanding of the person I am. I have forgiven anyone that has ever hurt me. I’ve opened my heart and allowed true love to enter. I am filled with peace and gratitude.
I am grateful for those who stood with me. Mahajan Therapeutics treated me like an individual and offered compassion that I’ve never forgotten. My freedom from addiction and realization of self has allowed me to help the lives of others. Having a purpose guides me in all I do. Through my advocacy of youth within my community, I continue to move forward with commitment and hope that I have inspired others to do the same.
Mahajan Therapeutics wants everyone to experience freedom from addiction. We’re here for you. Contact us today.