How did I get here?

In fourth grade, I was stealing candy from the corner shop, and since that wasn’t enough to satisfy my sugar fix, I was gorging myself with spoon fulls of orange drink mix dipped in milk.

In fifth grade, I started experimenting with smoking rolled up leaves that I would pick up in the park on the way home.

My father used to make wine and I started going down to the wine cellar and taking sips, at times straight from the barrel. At night, I would sneak swigs of the Port wine that my mother kept in the refrigerator.

I picked up the guitar around this time as well. Occupying me for hours, it soon became my only true friend for many, many years. Mind you, I wasn’t the most popular kid, with my bad complexion and husky wardrobe.

The first time I smoked actual cigarettes, I couldn’t wait to have another and in discovering marijuana, I became an instant “pothead” for the next 20 years.

When I moved to the big city in my mid 20’s, alcohol was already a part of my daily life. It’s progression led me through countless failed relationships, undesirable jobs, emergency room visits, family heartache and jail.

Thinking that one would “learn” at this point, cocaine kicked things up a notch, adding to my daily bottle or two of wine and pint of liquor regimen.

After years of endless drama, battling anxiety, depression and running round in circles to find myself “coming to” on the streets, I became sick and tired of being sick and tired.

My recovery began with mutual aid groups, outpatient substance abuse treatment and years of therapy. This is when I began learning about the addiction that I had developed and triggered back in my teens.

A year and a half later, I became really ill with chronic bleeding and diarrhea, the toilet becoming my closest friend. I had developed another chronic condition due to my far from healthy lifestyle that was masked by said drug & alcohol use. When I pulled the last straw and stopped smoking cigarettes, I found myself suffering from Ulcerative Colitis. It brought me, again, down on my knees and wishing I was dead.

After seeing over half dozen doctors, who didn’t spend more than 15 minutes with me, prescribing useless medications, I surrendered once again. Realizing that I had to face a whole new recovery ahead of me, I set out to further change my lifestyle and become healthy. This was the same time that I decided to dedicate my life to working with others.

I am extremely grateful that I have the ability to share This Recovery Life with people like you today and use my experience to benefit others. The past nine years have been quite the journey and I look forward to support you in beginning and maintaining yours.

Love Life Today. THiS ReCOVeRY LiFE