Bryan was a smart kid. It was easy for him to get good grades until he started using drugs. Despite his parent’s disappointment, he stopped caring about his schoolwork and mastered passing his classes by doing the bare minimum. He was a rebellious teen, often getting suspended from fighting, which sometimes included weapons.
After he graduated from high school, the consequences were more serious than school suspension. He started going to jail frequently and using drugs and alcohol as much as possible.
He was 20 or 21 the first time he went to rehab. He remembers the heartbreak in his family’s face as they begged him to get help. According to Bryan, he didn’t take this first stint of rehab seriously. He met a woman in rehab, and they moved in together after finishing the program. Unfortunately, they both ended up using again. Bryan was on his way to rock bottom.
He went to another rehab center where he started to reevaluate his life for perhaps the first time. Afterwards, he moved in with his parents. He wasn’t fully ready to give up his addiction. Despite hating the feeling of being a burden to his parents, he continued drinking. He recalls beginning to experience intense abdominal pain at this time, but he ignored it.
After getting drunk one day, he stumbled into a detox center and was soon sent to the hospital. He was suffering from delirium tremens and was hallucinating. Bryan was diagnosed with pancreatitis from alcohol abuse and went into a coma for 10 days. The doctors told Bryan’s parents this may be the end of his life.
“I was on my deathbed, and that’s what it took for me to seriously consider changing the way I was living my life,” he said.
Thankfully, he recovered enough for his father to take him to Healing Transitions. He was taken to the shelter and enrolled in the long-term recovery program. Upon arriving, Bryan immediately noticed a difference in Healing Transitions compared to other rehab centers he’d participated in. People called him by name and showed him kindness. He recalls hearing a participant speak at one of his first meetings and feeling like he was listening to himself.
Bryan was still very weak and was in physical therapy to help regain strength. His dependence on others both mentally and physically humbled him in a way he’d never experienced.
As he was grappling with giving up his addiction, he remembers fantasizing about moving to California and spending his time doing little more than smoking cigarettes all day. However, he chose to stay at Healing Transitions because of watching the people around him who were changing their lives. Through the classes he started learning about addiction and the way his brain was wired. He felt understood. He started experiencing the benefits of 12-step programs. Bryan decided he wanted to stay clean.
“I would never have gone to any 12-step meeting if it hadn’t been for Healing Transitions,” he acknowledged. “I wasn’t going to do it on my own. I had nowhere else to go, so I went to the meetings.”
Brian credits the meetings and camaraderie at Healing Transitions with saving his life. Today, he is a Silver Chipper, having completed the long-term recovery program. He’s started seeing beauty in life again and discovered a newfound purpose.
As of today, he’s been sober since April of 2019. Bryan says that he works toward recovery every day, not because he thinks he will immediately use again if he doesn’t, but because he wants to live to his full potential. He calls his sponsor daily and is now a sponsor for others.
“I love my life today. I love myself today, and because of that, I can love other people,” he said fondly.