Matt’s Story of Addiction & Recovery

Matt’s Story of Addiction & Recovery


About eleven years old I was introduced
to drugs and alcohol. Once I took that first drink and felt the effects that
alcohol I liked the way I felt. I remember a buddy of mine introducing me to marijuana and after that it was off to the races. All through high school I
was I would definitely say that I was in my addiction. I did well in school, I
played football, I would do what I needed to do during the day and look forward to
those binge drinking and using drugs on the weekend. I kind of always knew that I
wanted to do something in service and wear a uniform. I thought I’d looked into
this fire service thing. I signed up for one class, I remember walking into
that class in this chief came in and he popped in a video of the men and women
doing the job and I was like “this is it, where is this job in my whole life?” I
knew that if I wanted a job in service, I needed to be clean. I passed probation
successfully, and after that, you know, things were really really good. I worked on two
of the busiest fire engines in the city. After about ten years, you know, something started to change. I started drinking more. After a bad divorce I really fell
into a really bad depression and my alcoholism took off. I was put on
medications for the depression and I was from sleep medications cuz I couldn’t
sleep and I was on all these pills and I was drinking and and I was partying a
lot what I didn’t realize is that I had developed PTSD and I was filling those
voids in my life with drugs and alcohol I suffered a back injury at work I had
surgery and then after the surgery, of course, you know, I had the…the opiates
and there were many times where I’d probably took more than I was supposed
to. After a bad night of drinking I was pulled over I made enough noise that
night in a parking lot because I was gonna have the sheriff’s respond and I
was gonna reach for a gun and tell them I had a gun, and so they shoot me and I was done. That was my way out.
I started seeing a psychologist. She put some…some pretty influential men in my
life that…they pointed me into the to the direction of recovery. I trusted
these men and my life, from that moment on. When I got sober and my life looks so
much different today then it did, you know, two years ago. It’s so good it’s better than I can ever imagine. I mean that’s the honest truth. I
I’m back to work I’m…I’m a father to my three sons. There was a time when my sons were taking care of me. I just I wasn’t a dad, you know? I wasn’t a husband. Through my recovery I get to I get to be all those things
and I need to show up for my family members, you know? We get to do all the
things that I loved doing before… I’m…I’m present, you know, I’m present now. I mean, I live in Laguna Beach California, it’s a beautiful
beautiful place. When I was in my addiction I didn’t even see it and now I
appreciate it, I’m so grateful. I can go on and on and on about the things I’ve
learned for my recovery. It all depends on me getting up in the morning hit my
knees making my bed do my meditation and continue in my daily practice which
looks like, for me, helping the next person. I feel it’s my purpose now to get
the word out there that there are programs, in particular, Simple Recovery
that has a specific first responder program, that’s set up with a modality to
take care of first responders. Simple Recovery has given me the
platform to…to help me in my own recovery by giving me an opportunity to
get out into the first responder community and…and talk about recovery
openly…that it’s not weakness, you’re not bad, you’re not sick
you just need help. They’ve absolutely given me the platform to take my
recovery to the next level because it’s really no secret that the way we stay
well is by helping other people in the program. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If
you’re a family member it’s it’s okay to set up that intervention or to to call
somebody out in the community like myself who has no problem reaching out
to those people and having those tough conversations if you don’t want to have
it with them but don’t wait, you know? Get the help that you need, it’s
available. Your life can be so much better, for all you do for the community. You deserve to have a good life so ask for
help…it’s there.

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