I Replaced My Desperation with Hope

KK, Narconon Graduate
K.K., Narconon Suncoast Graduate

When I was researching the drug and alcohol treatment program at Narconon Suncoast, I immediately noticed that this program is uniquely different. It was not like any other programs I had seen. One of the most apparent differences right away is that Narconon takes a holistic approach. Rather than using more drugs to replace my drug addiction, I was able to replace the damage done throughout my addiction with things that add far more value to my life.

I have replaced my desperation with hope.

Faith has replaced my despair. Courage has replaced my fear. Peace of mind has replaced the persistent confusion. Self-respect has replaced my contempt for myself. Self-confidence has replaced helplessness. I have the respect of others instead of their pity and contempt. A clean conscience has replaced all the guilt. Real, genuine, friendships have replaced the necessity for isolation and loneliness. I have a clean pattern of life, rather than a purposeless existence. The love and understanding of my family have replaced their doubts and their fears. I have replaced the bondage of my addiction with the freedom of a happy life.

During my time at Narconon Suncoast these began happening to me through a time of intense self-reflection, with the guidance of skilled and caring staff, always readily available to listen and help guide me to fully understand the complex emotions I was feeling. I was able to spend time with myself and truly get to know myself, who I am, realizing that what I was doing primarily throughout my addiction was running from this exact deep introspection. I was confronting my personal issues and what I had struggled with before I struggled to maintain a high, along with the program designed to help me address the physical aspects of my recovery and touch all the bases to begin my mental recovery and unburden myself wholly of the shackles of my addiction.

The experience of life through my eyes today is truly, no hyperbole, an incredible, nearly indescribable feeling, but I am going to try. In the morning time, as I wake up from a good night’s rest, not the sleepless night of sickness or comatose slumber I doubtlessly would have medicated myself into, I take a long drink of my coffee before it’s time to flip the pancakes sizzling on the griddle. The soft sound of a child’s feet as they hit the pit-pat, pit-pat, pit-pat in increasing speed as the tiny feet journey down the hall to the bathroom, and the door clicks shut, is what brings me back into present time. A subconscious smile crosses my face, simply because I am here.

I mean, I am truly, fully here, my physical body and my mind. Today, I realize that I am not fighting a low wave of nausea or a fierce headache, or the prickles of goosebumps on my skin, the low-grade fever which had accompanied my withdrawals every morning like clockwork. Today, I am not in recovery mode; nor am I medicated, I’m just here. The minute details are more discernible. Every little thing is more important, I can truly experience all of my senses.

The sound of the child’s laughter fills my ears, and it is coming nearer. It is my three-year-old daughter’s impossibly contagious giggle. She is smiling from ear to ear and she is laughing simply because she has seen me, because I am here, because she is so happy to have me here. She runs to me, arms outstretched, and as she leaps up to me I wrap my arms around her, and I hold her as tightly as I can. At this moment I am so grateful for all the senses I can see, hear, taste, touch, and feel as if it were the first time. Today I know I am so comfortable in this moment, I am experiencing my life in the fullest possible sense and I require nothing else, for the first time in a long time.

“To all of those struggling with addiction, the family and friends desperate for answers and overcome with feelings of helplessness, when you find yourself doubting how far you can go, let me tell you how far I made it in just one step.”

To all of those struggling with addiction, the family and friends desperate for answers and overcome with feelings of helplessness, when you find yourself doubting how far you can go, let me tell you how far I made it in just one step. My first step into treatment I gained so much power, so much control over what had made me feel so powerless and so hopeless. We all have the power within ourselves to replace today with something new, something so much better. All you need to do is take the first step which is right in front of you.

While maintaining my sobriety after the completion of my program at Narconon Suncoast, I have replaced “I’m damaged, I’m broken, I have trust issues” with “I’m healing, I’m rediscovering myself, and I’m starting over”.

K.K.—Narconon Suncoast Graduate



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.