Sober Story- Shane (@2sshanez)
Hi, my name is Shane-Michael, and this is my story.
I first noticed I had an unhealthy relationship with drugs and alcohol around New Years of 2018. I had been using drugs recreationally since 2015 and alcohol since I was 17 years old. I was already an alcoholic but didn’t realize it. Once my December Birthday came around in 2015, I decided to try cocaine with some new friends and was immediately hooked. I went out every weekend drinking with friends since I was finally graduated from college and on my own for the first time. Then cocaine came along and it was the perfect mix. After 2 years, the addiction grew and when January 2018 came, I was about to move into a new home and couldn’t do so due to my using. I put off my roommates and finally opened up about my drug and alcohol use. I attempted to cut it all off but failed thus starting an ever-deeper plunge into my unhealthy life.
I had many obstacles during this time. The absolute biggest was admitting to myself I had a problem and needed help. My 2nd biggest was managing my family life and my social drug and alcohol life. I pushed myself to having no money, no home and no friends. I spent countless months living at my parents off and on because I lied to them about not being on drugs or drinking anymore. I managed to lose 25 pounds during all this time and was oblivious to it. I struggle with validation through others, so I could never step away from that lifestyle because drugs and alcohol always kept me surrounded by people. Finally, in May 2019, after an overdose and constant outreach from my family, I decided to hand myself over to my higher power and check into rehab. Ultimately, I never overcame any of my obstacles until I got into the car and headed for rehab, because attempts to control always failed.
Since checking into rehab and becoming sober, my life has changed immensely. During my time there, I hit the ground running and became a mentor to newcomers and graduated after 30 days. Since then, I have resided in a sober living community for 3 months and continued intensive outpatient therapy weekly. I have also repaired a few relationships I thought I lost and have slowly been gaining love and trust from my family and friends. I have reached deeper into myself to find my true self and the purpose I serve. I have an amazing sponsor who I have completed the 12 steps with and am getting ready to sponsor myself. I found my true passion is helping others and because so, I am now a nationally certified personal trainer. I gained all the weight back I lost during my drug use and am looking and feeling better than ever. I am active with my recovering community and am even helping fund raise for the National Heroine Anonymous Conference next year. Ultimately, my life has been having to be honest with myself, taking care of myself first then helping others and find a new love every day and a new willingness.
Drugs and alcohol affected my spiritual level more than anything. I was an avid Christian before so and my use just wrecked my love for Jesus. I was baptized in 2012 and was very involved with youth ministry. I was every Sunday church guy and surrounded myself with that environment. Once drugs and alcohol came in, I handed that power and influence over to them. I stopped praying, I stopped going to church and almost stopped believing in God completely. I committed my days to using and didn’t even consider going near a church. I was scared to even talk about faith because I felt sinful for even trying to. Thank god I went to rehab because while I was there, the 2nd Sunday there, I went to church. During that hour-long service, I wept tears and prayed to God. I went up to the stage and had multiple people pray over me. I felt that spiritual connection again and haven’t looked back. Now, I journal nightly following a devotional. I attend church on Sundays and if I can’t, I watch the sermons online. I pray for people. I pray for myself. I speak to Jesus when things are good and when things are bad. I 100% find a new way every day to connect with my higher power. My next step is to get involved at my home church and begin my service work there. Every day is a new opportunity to get closer to my higher power and I feel a new abundance of love for my God.
I used to love writing and reading but would never commit to them. I was lazy. During my recovery, I journal, constantly! I’ve discovered DBT and CBT authors and began reading their books. Brené Brown is hands down my favorite and honestly been the biggest teacher through my readings. I attend six anonymous meetings weekly between HA and AA communities. Therapy is the biggest tool I have been blessed with. I attend 3 sessions weekly, with other addicts, and get vulnerable. Vulnerability may not seem like a tool, but it is the biggest one I have taken advantage of during my recovery. The gym is right behind therapy. It is in itself a different form of therapy for me. It takes my mind off everything negative and allows me to get lost in my music and progress my health every day. There hasn’t been a workout yet where I felt worse than when I went into the gym. Lastly, service work. I make it a point every day to do something for someone. Whether it’s taking a brother to the store for groceries, sitting down and talking for a bit or picking up the tab at a restaurant etc and most importantly I make sure to give back, because God gave me my life back.
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