A Message to Any Addict Still Suffering: Seeing is Believing

Man looks ahead

When I look at my time as an addict and where my head was at during the early days of my recovery, my sense of self-worth was non-existent. My thoughts were surrounded by failure. Failure as a son, failure as a sibling, failure in all my relationships, failure as an employee. My addiction was continuing to rob me of finding success in any aspect of my life. I was failing at life, and I knew it. With the prevalent mindset of feeling like I had wasted my entire life, it’s easy to see why I didn’t put much stock into my future, what I could become, or what I could accomplish. Put simply, I didn’t think very much of me.

Aside from my parents, family, and a select few people who knew and remembered what I was like before my addiction took over, I didn’t have many people in my corner. I had burned one bridge after another through the course of an addiction that had spanned two decades. Addiction is messy, complicated, and painful. While drugs were running the show I was obsessed with my failures, time wasted, and the people I had hurt, and what I failed to realize during that time was a bigger picture that only came into focus once I got clean.

That big picture that I continued to miss, what truly kept me knee-deep in my addiction, had nothing to do with any of those failures mentioned above. It was the inability to see what my life could become and what I could do with the rest of the years I had left in this world when a real commitment to change was made. That is what I failed to see and what kept me drowning in past failures that couldn’t be reversed, how using my past and my present to create a better future for myself could result in me finding a life with the type of fulfillment that would bring about a peace I could have never imagined.

That if I let, even for a moment, myself believe that I could put all of this in the rearview mirror and find a life I can be proud of, a life that brings about a version of me that is able to excel and make my family proud, someone who overcame the darkest of times to become a success story that, rather than lie, cheat, manipulate and steal, instead aims to inspire and create hope in others that addiction can and will be overcome by anyone who makes the effort and commitment to do so. That if I can do it, anyone can.

Admittedly, these thoughts never crossed my mind while I was an addict. That was my biggest failure, not in what was in the past but in not seeing of what I could become. Perhaps if I had any idea or belief in just how much better my life would become, how much more satisfying and fulfilling it would become, then I wouldn’t have spent two decades not making the life I have now happen. For a long time, I believed my own tragic story of a life defined by addiction, a life full of possibilities never fulfilled. That didn’t turn out to be true, but I had to make up my mind to rewrite the pages. If you are struggling right now and continuing to turn the page into the same sad story on repeat, aren’t you ready for a new chapter? You may not believe in your own happy ending right now, that much I understand. Seeing is believing. Flip the page and go see for yourself. If you or anyone you know is seeking help, please reach out.



Justin has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 1 year. Justin earned his Bachelors's Degree in Finance from Florida State University. Having been an addict himself, he brings real-world experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Justin is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions.