Recovery Coach, Association of Persons Affected by Addiction (APAA)
After decades of addiction and untreated mental health issues, I had what people in recovery refer to as a “burning bush moment.” I was told to take all I had been through and, “Go help the other children.” I had no idea how to do this but set out on a journey of discovery to answer this calling.
Step one was going to a mental health provider who diagnosed my mental illness and set a recovery plan. The second step was to enter and graduate from a dual diagnosis recovery center. Then I spent two years pouring the foundation of my personal recovery. Once that foundation was solid, I entered a program that helped with vocational rehabilitation. I became certified as a peer recovery support specialist. It’s been four years since my “burning bush” moment, and I’m now doing exactly as my higher power asked. I work every day with other recovering addicts and dually diagnosed individuals. I thought God intended that I work with youth at the time of my calling, but it turns out he meant the other children of God. My life now is full of riches that I could not have dreamed of, yet they have nothing to do with money.
It is only through long-term recovery that I am able to be an advocate for people in recovery and a messenger of experience, strength, and hope.