There was a time when I used to think getting high was cool. Partying with my buddies, them with their cases of beer and me and my bong. Soon smoking weed wasn’t enough. It then became mushrooms, then it was LSD, then pills and so on. I couldn’t just be average and drink with my buddies. It was always go big or go home. Ya, I thought I was cool until I wound up in the back of a police car. It was then at the rightful age of 21 that I realized that maybe I had a problem. Sitting in the back seat of that police car that night finally made me realize that I needed to quit. I told myself, this is it, I’m quitting. This is my wake up call. Well, it was less than twenty minutes after getting out that and I was getting high again. So much for keeping the promise I made to myself to quit.

A few weeks later

after a bad trip one night and a failed attempt at ending my life, I wound up in the hospital. After getting out of the hospital my family immediately took me to rehab where I finally got the help I needed. Up until that point in my life, it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. The only way I made it through it though was that I found God again and brought him back into my life.

For many years now, I have dedicated and donated my time speaking to and talking with troubled youth. I have always believed that the hardships and adversity that I have experienced have been for a reason. Anyone that knows me, knows that I’ve been through more than the average person, but I’ve also been blessed tremendously through my challenges. God gave me those challenges and a story so that I can help others and it’s been an honor using my story to do so.

Over the last 22 years I’ve fallen on and off the wagon so to speak a few times. Ok, quite a few times. It’s been just over 6 years though since my last relapse. The longest I’ve ever gone. A close friend recently asked me how I’ve done it this time. (Stayed clean that is) I said, ”because of the kids I speak to. I don’t ever want to be a hypocrite.” I said, “How could I go and speak to these kids and then go and use.” That’s not me.

There’s not a day that goes by, that I don’t think about getting high. Every day I get up, it’s a choice I make. If I can’t do it for myself, so be it. I do it for the kids. But it is my choice. Life is about challenges but more importantly, it’s about the choices we make facing those challenges. God has given me the ability to choose and the strength to overcome everything I have ever been through and for that, I’m grateful. I pray that we will all make the positive choice, when life throws us those obstacles.

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