James Stewart was born on the East Coast but primarily grew up in Orange County, California. As a kid, he and his family moved around a lot, which was difficult at times but it afforded him many different opportunities and experiences. With the blessing of a supportive home and two loving parents, James describes his childhood as a wonderful experience overall.
Long before his personal experience with addiction began, James watched his older sister fall victim to meth addiction. He didn’t understand her behavior, became very resentful, and was totally against ever using addictive substances himself.
Despite his strong aversion to drugs, he gradually let his guard down and starting using marijuana, shrooms, and ecstasy with his friends at music festivals. Those things never grew into a full-blown addiction but the experience gave James a false sense of confidence in his ability to control his drug use.
By the time James was a young adult, his parents had relocated again and he had moved back home to regain some financial ground. He didn’t have any friends in the area so he ended up spending a lot of time with his older sister. She gave him his first hit of meth, which would ultimately change his life forever.
Much like his prior experiences with festival drugs, he thought he could just do it once, but he was wrong. Once his addiction got ahold of him, it held tight and didn’t let go. Before James could even realize what was happening, he was consistently shooting up and using extreme amounts of meth. He couldn’t hold down a job, his old friends had all distanced themselves from him, and he was constantly getting himself into bad and unsafe situations.
Things progressed quickly, and before long, James was homeless and living in his car. His parents had since moved to New Braunfels, Texas, but offered to help him start over if he was willing to relocate to Texas.
“They tried to help me get better,” he says. “But I got worse. I have a lot of bad memories there.”
In New Braunfels, James got into a toxic relationship that led to a great deal of physical and emotional abuse. As a result, he faced legal difficulties and cycled in and out of jail due to the frequent physical altercations he had with his boyfriend. He finally reached his breaking point after spending a full night in the bathroom, struggling to inject the poison that had slowly rotted his life away to nothing.
“I remember when I came out of the bathroom, the sun was coming up and I realized I had spent all night trying to shoot up,” he says. “I just couldn’t do it anymore. I needed help.”
James’s parents immediately helped him get into a sober living program at Eudaimonia Recovery Homes, where he was quickly absorbed into a community of caring staff members and peers with similar life experiences and struggles.
By this point in his life, James knew that nothing he had previously done was working, so he vowed to take every piece of solid advice he was given and do everything he could to get sober. He got a sponsor, went to as many recovery meetings as he could, and poured all his efforts into developing healthy new habits.
“Eudaimonia is such a great community because there are all sorts of people there,” he says. “Young, old, gay, straight, black, white…people there are excited about life again and everyone wants to talk and support one another. I became friends with the staff, held people accountable, and ended up meeting my best friends there.”
In the end, all of his hard work paid off. Today, James has achieved a full year of sobriety and works as a Recovery Advocate at Briarwood Detox Center, where he helps other people pave their own road to a life in recovery. He recently moved out of his Eudaimonia home in Austin and into a new home with his former sober living roommates (and best friends). They have coined themselves the “sober squad” and are loving their new space.
Surrounded by the love and support of his parents, niece, nephew, and friends, James is living his best life and says his relationships are better than ever. He spends his free time doing the things that he loves, like traveling, hiking, swimming, and being active outdoors.
“I can’t thank Nova enough. They really provided the tools and the environment I needed to get sober,” he says.
If you are struggling with addiction, maybe you can see a bit of yourself in James’s story. If so, you are not alone and help is just a phone call away. The compassionate and experienced staff at Nova Recovery Center are waiting and ready to help you establish a new, sober life. Call (512) 605-2955 today to get started.