Jonathan here! I would like to share my story but, it would still seem similar with the others. I’d rather share about how recovery worked for me and how it can possibly work for others, too.
I started Safe Haven almost 3 yrs ago as the Program Director. My passion in working for Safe Haven and for people with substance use disorder started when i got educated with the disease called Addiction (which i also have). This new concept made me give out a sigh of relief. My perception about myself was true. I wasn’t a bad person after all. I just have a genetic or predisposed disorder. From then, I got myself more informed and aware of my disease. I found out that it was incurable however, treatable.
Through that idea, I realized I can manage it. I can be responsible about my disease to make sure it doesn’t occur again. I made the choice to keep my “dragon” sleeping. This made me glad that I can do something about it. I also got educated with a new paradigm that definitely changed my life and that is called Recovery. I found out that it was possible for people with addictions to recover and take back their lives that they lost.
When I found recovery, it created a big impact in my life that I wanted to give others the same opportunity to be educated about it. Addiction was a vicious cycle that was filled with pain, misery, loneliness, and confusion. It was like an entity was eating me from inside out. At times I also felt that I wasn’t human anymore. I want to help educate others like me that despite being torn apart and losing my humanity, it is possible to be built back up again. Or better yet, it is possible to be transformed to be the productive human being I am meant to be.
Recovery has showed me another perspective in life. It created a new path for me that allowed myself to enjoy the little things in life like: seeing the sun rise and set, adoring the rain and dew, savoring the smell of good brewed coffee, and etc. It also gave me several significant gifts that I never came to consider before like: family, work, responsibilities, and most of all, spirituality. For 13 years now, I have been living in significant recovery and cherishing every single day of it. I keep myself at bay from my disease though further education, continuing self-care and, fellowship. The best part of the whole experience after a more than a decade, is service. The opportunity to give others the same opportunity that came to me; the same awareness, education, relief, realization, and choice that they can love themselves more. The opportunity to find my humanity again and be better at it. This is what I want to educate my fellow addicts and the society about.
At 13 years in recovery, I have learned to be capable to face life on its own terms. I live each day knowing that a day can be sunny or gray and yet, I live life loving the ups and downs, finding meaning and purpose upon waking up, and having a direction to live life to the full.
The problem regarding addiction is too huge to handle on our own. We need more awareness, more hands, and resources to assist in providing proper and humane treatment for the people with substance use disorder. In addition, there have been misconceptions regarding addiction as a moral dilemma when in fact, it is a mental health issue. I desire to eradicate that kind of mentality in the society through proper education and treatment. My hope is to let everyone know that addiction can be treated, if treated as a disease. My hope is that even just one addict at a time can be helped and given a chance to recover by being educated about his/her disease and by providing a chance to believe that recovery is possible. My mission as a recovering addict, to recovering addicts and the rest of the society, is to send out a single message: There is hope.