Celebrating 3 years of a Drug-Free Life!
July 29th, 2018, is a day I remember well. I was strung out in a parking lot of a Safeway grocery store, sitting on my longboard. I was homeless in South Dakota, no money, no family, nothing to my name. I was contemplating my life that night, that it was so down that I figured it was only a matter of time before I met my maker. I just knew I couldn’t escape this cycle that was ruining the last six years of my life. I checked into Narconon on August 3rd, 2018, and began my journey.
The past three years for me have not been easy all the time. That first year of sobriety was the toughest. I had to utilize what I had learned and actually deal with my emotions, something I had always run from in the past. I would suppress them so that I appeared strong to those around me. In reality, I was broken inside, refusing to give in. I learned how to confront and address the emotions that came over me and deal with them in a constructive way that would make me a better person. I remember the first time when I finally got above those emotions and the sense of clarity and relief that came over me. I felt like I had finally figured it out. While I knew that I had a lot more work on myself that I needed to address, I was ready to tackle anything that came my way.
Anyone that knows me knows that I love electronic music and going to a show and a festival. Going into my second year of sobriety, I made it a goal of mine to see if I could go back into that environment and be able to do one of the things I loved. I waited a long time before doing this, wanting to get to a point in my sobriety where I would be comfortable. I still had to be cautious of the particular show I went to, and I made sure to stay with sober friends, but I enjoyed every moment of it. I was there physically, mentally and spiritually. I didn’t need drugs or alcohol to do the thing I loved the most, and that alone gave me so much power to realize that I can do anything I put my mind to.
When going into this third year of sobriety, I still had to deal with issues that had caused me to break in the past—finances, relationships, and finding things that promoted me to be a better version of myself. I really buckled down and learned how to budget my money so that I could live a life without being in debt and with financial freedom. That was a very big win for me. I experienced two breakups that very well could have ruined me emotionally and brought me to a dark place. But I was fortunate to have amazing friends and family to help me through those times and realize that it was not me that ruined those relationships. That was always something I put on myself in the past. Once I realized this, I was able to move on and work on myself again.
That’s where I started picking up hobbies that make me happy. I started getting into producing music again, and that was something that always made me happy. I also started journaling again and writing poetry. This allowed me to process my thoughts and emotions and get them out of my head and on paper. Another thing I picked up is painting and drawing again. That was an amazing form of self-expression that I want to continue and grow upon. It makes me happy to see what I can take from my mind and put on a canvas or piece of paper.
“I cannot begin to express the gratitude to everyone that has helped me over these past three years. From family, friends, coworkers, and everyone I have encountered on this journey that have played a part in the man you see today.”
I cannot begin to express the gratitude I feel to everyone that has helped me over these past three years. From family, friends, coworkers, and everyone I have encountered on this journey that has played a part in the man you see today. To those people, I say thank you, and I appreciate you for being a part of my life and never giving up on me. You all have a special place in my heart and will always remain there. Today I am happy with the man I see in the mirror and look forward to what this fourth year of sobriety will bring me. I am excited and ready to embrace what lies ahead!
Zac C.—Narconon Suncoast Graduate