What it Was Like
My name is Brian Kish and I am a recovering alcoholic and addict. I am here to tell you that if you are struggling with substance use disorder, there is a way out. I have not felt the need, nor wanted to pick up a drink or a drug since July 15th, 2017. I am 28 years old and for the past 10 years I have been struggling to obtain the gift of sobriety. I am beyond grateful for the life I have today. What was it like? I grew up in a great home with great parents and a great family. I grew up in Morrisville, PA with my mother, father, two younger brothers, and a yellow lab. But I felt different from everyone else. From the first time I picked up my first drink, all fears and low self esteem went out the window. I instantly fell in love and wanted to drink as much as I could, as often as i wanted. After, came other drugs like marijuana, xanax, acid, mushrooms, exstacy, and other hard drugs. Then came Oxycontin and shortly after that, I first used heroin. Again, I instantly fell in love with it, I knew what I was doing was wrong but the feeling and relief was so good I did not care. Eventually, came countless treatment centers, constant moving, loss of the life I once had, and I became homeless in the Kensington section of Philadelphia.
I was in and out of various treatment centers, 12-step fellowships, and maintenance programs. I always thought that as long as I could just get out of Philadelphia or get away from my friends I would be ok. But I went to places like Texas, California, and Florida. The only thing that changed was the place i became homeless. I decided to join the United States Army, thinking that would give me the discipline I needed to stop using, but i still used and eventually led to my discharge from the Army. I once again became homeless in Philadelphia, stealing everything from my family and losing all connection with them. My family at this point had my funeral planned and paid for.
I went into another facility, and something happened this time. I was given the gift of desperation, and did one thing different for the first time. I took suggestions. I spent sometime in a treatment facility, then went to a halfway house, and followed by a recovery house. I got involved in a 12 step program and listened to the men in that program and they taught me how to be a man. In this recovery house I met some of the most amazing people. We became best friends and something magical happened in the house and some how we ended stayng sober. This only occured because we leaned on each other and stayed involved in a 12 step fellowship.
What It's Like NoW
Today, I am living a life way beyond my wildest dreams. I currently work in the field of treatment and try to help other on a day to day basis. I have become friends with some really amazing people in recovery. People who I can call at any time and I know for a fact they will be there for me. I have a sense of ease and comfort and am constantly doing positive things to better my life and not live in fear. And most importantly, I have my family in my life today. My brothers who never wanted to see me again, we talk everyday, my parents who wrote their son off as being a heroin addict sleep soundly at night knowing I'm not out doing what I was doing and they know I am safe. I have restored trust and respect with my entire family, and that is beautiful. All of this is possible because I got heavily involved in a 12 step fellowship and above all conditions I don't pick up no matter what. And now I can help people get this gift of sobriety I was so graciously given. If you don't think you can do it, then you can reach out and ask for help. If you're willing, the help will come, but you need to do whatever it takes.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction please don't hesitate to reach out to The Phoenix Recovery Project at 484-254-6780 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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