Note: This article is a continuation of Healing Transitions’ SEE RECOVERY series. Some of what is told in this story reflect what was told in the previous two articles, so you will want to go back and read those first if you haven’t already. Read Chris’s story HERE. Read Chris’s Parents’ story HERE.

I never knew Chris before he was sober – I met him after he was already in recovery. I moved to North Carolina a few years ago because of my own alcoholism. I had been miserable and had caused some harm with a few close people in my life. So, as a lot of people do, I figured moving away would fix everything and give me a fresh start. What I didn’t realize at the time was that my drinking is what fueled my misery.

When I first moved to North Carolina, I only knew one person – a friend from high school who happened to have a place for me to move into. Since I was looking to get away from where I was, I figured that was my best bet for a life-restart, so I moved in. I didn’t have any family and didn’t know anyone here, which meant that nobody was watching after me, so my drinking got really bad.

I actually ran into Chris at a restaurant where we were working together. I didn’t want anything to do with anyone at the time, so I never really talked to my coworkers, but I would always see Chris smiling and laughing with everyone. Eventually, he came up and started talking to me and we wound up hitting it off. I quickly realized that we had a lot of things in common.

I talked to him about some of the things I’ve done, and he mentioned a place that he goes to and thought I should come with him. He said it was for recovery and said that it sounded like I might need some help. I thought it was really cool of him to be so open about his own recovery and offer help – I hadn’t even known him for a month yet.

I had never been to an AA meeting before, but that’s when I finally realized that I had a problem. What was really awesome was seeing this person in recovery who was just always in a good mood – I couldn’t understand how someone could always be that positive. It seemed unreal. So, Chris introduced me to his network of support and started helping me build my own.

It’s been a really amazing journey. I went to my first meeting in October of 2017, and have been sober since January 7th, 2017. Chris has been a huge influence in my recovery and honestly is probably my best friend right now. We still work together, too. I had worked at the restaurant for two years and was ready to move on, so I took a month off of work. He had already moved onto working for his dad’s bread business and said that he needed some help and offered me a job.

Chris is just someone who is always positive and helping people out. He always looks out for the best interest of others, which is an amazing quality about him. Even when my or someone else’s program is slacking, he’ll speak up and say something about it. But I know that when he says something, it comes from a good place, even if it’s something that I don’t want to hear. That’s really important for someone in recovery to have in their network. He’s just been a really great friend and person to everyone.

Join Healing Transitions as we try to raise $235,000 in December to fund the 3,179 additional beds of shelter and detox we’ve provided this year! Find out how you can help out HERE!