As of January 1st, 2023, I will officially be four years sober.
Thinking back on this past year, my life has changed for the better — dramatically, in ways that I would have never expected. I came into Mountainside broken and defeated. I had just lost my brother from an overdose, but even that was not enough to get me to stop using. I overdosed a week later. I knew this had to stop once and for all, otherwise my parents would be burying both of their children.
At the time, I was living in Jacksonville, Florida and sleeping on a half-inflated air mattress. All my money went into my substance abuse. Every paycheck was gone before it even went into my account. I owed money to drug dealers. I was miserable, and I knew enough was enough. I knew what I had to do, and that was to get help. I called my mom and told her that I overdosed. She immediately flew from New York to Florida. She brought me back to her hotel and would not let me out of her sight. From there, we decided to call rehabs all over the Northeast. I finally said to my mom, “maybe we should give Mountainside a call.” I figured this would be a smart choice because I had previously been there in 2013 when I tried to get sober before. I was not serious then, but this time, everything was different.
Mountainside said they had a bed available for me, and my mom said, “We will be up there first thing tomorrow.” In the morning, we flew back to New York. After we arrived, we got my mom’s car and drove up to Mountainside. I spent 9 days in detox and 28 days in residential treatment.
The tools that I learned while staying at Mountainside gave me the foundation to begin my recovery journey. When I completed the program, I moved into Manhattan and into a sober living facility on the Upper East Side. I have always wanted to live in New York City, and this was now my chance. I have done sober living in the past, but this time I was serious. The people who ran the house brought me to meetings, sober events, dinners, and introduced me to people in the sober community. I still hang out with the friends that I made in early sobriety. Since I got sober, I have been going to the gym, taking courses online, working, spending time with family, and started a blog.
My blog, called My Recovery NYC, is recovery and self-help focused. I would have never thought that helping other people was something I would enjoy doing. For such a long time, I had asked myself what I wanted to do with my life. I can honestly say that this is what I enjoy. I write articles, manage the website and do marketing, post on social media, take pictures for the site, and so much more. I am also starting a podcast to go along with My Recovery NYC.
This is just the beginning. There are so many more opportunities to explore, and none of it would have been possible had I not gotten sober. I am looking forward to what the future holds, and for one of the first times in my life, I am excited about it!