It started with drinks before a night out, and it ended in a very small bathroom with a needle in my arm. Along the way many good friends said goodbye because they offered help and I refused it. I fell out of the usual circle of family birthdays and holidays. I promised attendance and didn’t show. I lost my job and became a full-time junkie. I traded sex for money in order to get a fix. My life became very small and very scary, and I just let it happen.
Homeless and out of money, one day I was offered help and I said yes. The moment I accepted help my world changed. There were challenges. I had to get honest. I had to be careful about falling into familiar patterns. But the truth is the challenges in recovery are easier than anything I had to do when I was out there.
I am the man I want to be today. I have real relationships with people. I have the respect of people whom I respect, something I had lost. I have joined my family again. This is how I stay sober: I don't use drugs or alcohol, I have a program, I talk to sober people every day, I tell the truth and I try to show up for others.
- Raja, 20