Eric Sease grew up in Kingwood, Texas and was raised in a loving and supportive home. He was very active and heavily into sports, especially soccer, which he played competitively. He describes himself as a happy, joyous, and free kid who was well-liked and sociable.
He first discovered opiates after getting his wisdom teeth removed. He was sent home with a bottle of prescription opioids for the pain, but he recovered very well and only took two pills out of necessity. Since he didn’t need them, his parents threw away the bottle with the pills still inside, but Eric loved the way they made him feel. He retrieved the pills from the bottle and took them anyway.
“The next week, I took two before school each day and I fell in love with the feeling opiates gave me,” he says. “Even then though, I wasn’t drawn to it instantly and I had surrounded myself with healthy, active people.”
After high school, Eric left home to attend college at Louisiana State University. The transition was difficult for him, as he had left his high school friends and girlfriend behind and was alone in a new environment. Discomfort set in, and as he began drinking heavily, his performance at school suffered.
Loneliness and Isolation
After a year of college, Eric dropped out and moved to Austin where he took a job at an e-commerce warehouse. Many of his co-workers were actively using drugs and he had access to narcotics again. Within a couple years, Eric was addicted. He kept his social life and drug life separate, so none of his friends or family members really knew how isolated and lonely he had become.
When the pills ran out, he found heroin instead, and he was instantly hooked. His IV drug use became a regular occurrence and the consequences of his addiction began to gradually chip away at the double life he had created for himself.
“I didn’t experience a drastic and quick fall to the bottom,” he says. “It was more like a feather floating down. As long as I had heroin, I didn’t recognize what was going on.”
As he poured all his financial resources into getting more heroin, he eventually found himself homeless, unable to scam or con anybody out of a few dollars. He was completely alone and ready to end his life.
Eventually, Eric’s family realized he was in a dark place and helped him enroll in his first treatment center. At that point, he wasn’t ready to give up the drinking or prescription pills, but he was done with heroin. He successfully got sober and moved to Houston to escape his history with addiction, but it was only a matter of weeks before he started drinking again.
“I was drinking from the moment I woke up, throughout the day, and until I went to bed,” he says. “It was easy for my ego to attach to the idea that no one knew. I was holding down a job, I was living under my parents’ roof. I was drinking every day but I was able to moderate it and follow a few simple rules to stay slightly drunk.”
A year later, Eric realized he needed a break from all substances and enrolled in another treatment program. With a month of sobriety under his belt, he moved back to Austin and fell quickly back into heroin. He knew he desperately needed help so he reached out to a friend from LSU who worked at Nova Recovery Center.
“Before Nova, it was easy for me to separate myself from AA.,” Eric says. “I would basically go to a meeting, wait for one thing I didn’t agree with, and then shut down and think, ‘I don’t need this. I’m better than this.’ But Nova gave me an appreciation for the 12 Steps.”
After completing drug and alcohol rehab at Nova Recovery Center, Eric moved into a Eudaimonia sober living home, where he was able to mentor other residents and establish a stable and healthy life for himself. A year passed and he moved out into a house with other people in recovery. He started dating a girl who was not in the program and it wasn’t long before he relapsed and began drinking secretly.
Once again, he composed an outer layer around himself to convince others that he was okay, while in reality, he was really falling apart. Within three or four months, he had stepped away from the program completely and was using heroin again.
“I had finally reached an emotional bottom,” he says. “It was easy to see that I was a breath away from going full tilt back into everything.”
Starting Over Again
Realizing he needed help again, Eric moved back into a sober living home and did things differently this time. In the past, he had worked the program because it was what people expected of him. This time, he solely relied on the spiritual guidance of the program and learned the importance of honesty and transparency in the process.
“There’s a lot of confidence in truth. A lot of soul-eating happens when I’m trying to maintain all the lies and keep my loved ones in a different reality. Now, there’s a balance in my life that is not manufactured like it used to be. It’s a true gift.”
Eric says if he had not gotten help when he did, jail or death would have both been very real possibilities. He believes his addiction would have pushed him to the brink of desperation if he hadn’t sought help over and over again.
“No one has to do this alone,” he says. “Having the courage to reach out is what can open a door for someone who is addicted. No matter where you are in life, there’s something or someone that is there to help.”
If you or a loved one needs help to overcome addiction, call Nova Recovery Center today to speak with an admissions specialist.