September is National Recovery Month, and I have taken some time to reflect on the last four years of my life…

In 2011 I was living in the slums of Staten Island N.Y. I didn’t have a penny to my name, no job, no friends, and was in the grips of my addiction. Internally, I just didn’t want to live this painful life anymore. You could say I was at what the Big Book calls “the turning point.” I could either continue using drugs and hurting the people I loved, or I could finally surrender to this disease and ask for help.

I remember the day I finally made a decision to do something different like it was yesterday. You see, there had been countless days like this one, because I had been fighting this disease for a decade by now. I can’t really explain to you why I finally made a decision to change on this particular day. It was a hot July day, and I was in my shack detoxing from oxycodone. I had no money to score and was too sick to hustle to get money. There was a knock at my front door. It was a guy I owed money to in the streets, and he was there to collect his debt. I answered the door a trembling mess. I had no money to pay this man. An argument ensued. My wife was inside and overheard the amount we were arguing over and came out with a check to pay my debt. Here I was, a 31 year old man whom had gone to St. John’s University and married a wonderful, successful woman, but I didn’t have enough money to pay off this debt. The humiliation was overwhelming.

That night I cursed God and asked that if He were real, to help me! That’s exactly what happened. The universe answered my plea for help. I began attending 12-step meetings and met men just like me who took me under their wings. We all grew up in Brooklyn and Staten Island, hung around the same type of people, and suffered from the same disease. The difference was they had a solution to the problem. For the next six months I followed these men. I went where they told me to go and did what they asked me to do. They taught me how to be a man in recovery. They taught me how to be of service and practice the principles of recovery.

On July 31, 2015, I celebrated 4 years of sobriety. Today I have a relationship with my wife and family I had never even dreamed of. I have been blessed with true friendship. The men I surround myself with love me enough to keep me honest and call me on my bull. They care more about my life and recovery than they do my feelings. I am someone that people can trust and rely upon. I used to walk in a room and people would leave. Today I walk in a room and people are drawn to me. You see, my addiction stripped me of everything worthwhile in life, but my recovery has given me a life of abundance that I could never have dreamed of. This is how having nothing gave me everything. If you’re struggling, don’t give up. Surrender to this disease, stay focused and come experience this awesome life with us!

Nova Recovery Center