In my mid-thirties I was in and out of treatment. At one point I was able to stay sober for a year, but I slipped away from my recovery. I had this anxiety inside, and the only way I knew was to go back to drugs.
I had a terrible relapse where everything fell apart. I became hopeless. I put people I love in danger. The people around me just had a look of disgust. I became a person that I never thought I would be.
I would think all the time that the best thing for me to do would be to disappear. I felt I would be doing everyone a favor – my family, my parents, my wife, and my children. They didn’t sign up to have their husband and Dad be a drug addict, someone who lost their whole moral compass.
My job was in jeopardy. Nobody wanted to talk to me. I had no friends left. I bankrupted my family. My marriage was over. I felt my kids were better off without me.
My whole life became how to escape.
By the grace of God my wife called Kevin Mikolazyk from the Herren Project – she’s a teacher and Chris had spoken at her school – who helped me get into treatment in Florida.
I hadn’t talked to my wife or kids in a month. About three weeks into the Florida treatment I was told I would be coming to Herren Wellness.
This turned out to be the biggest blessing I have ever had in my life.
I was facing the decision to put some real work into myself or give up. I decided I wanted to give this one real chance.
It was hard. I felt like I went to bed at 18 years old and woke up at 40 in treatment with five children and a raging drug and alcohol problem.
Thank God I had the opportunity to go to Herren Wellness and slowly they made me feel like I could do this. I had tried so many times I really didn’t think it was possible. I thought I was one of those hopeless people that would never get it, and that I was destined to die from this.
Herren Wellness gave me so much love and support, and they challenged me. I had never really been challenged. I had always been handled with kid gloves, but they challenged me to find out what makes me tick.
I was able to look back at my childhood and see all the warning signs of just not feeling good about myself, not feeling like I fit in, feeling like I was an outcast.
I felt like I had no real purpose, and Chris challenged me. Lori and Chris were shining examples of what recovery looks like on a daily basis, and this was one of the most important things they did for me.