Michael C. shares some of his valuable recovery insights.
Q: What was the turning point that led you to get help?
A: The major turning point was my loss of hope. It’s so hard for us to remember how valuable hope is as a resource in our lives. I simply couldn’t see a way to get better, which led me to make some really foolish decisions. But it also led me to making a major one, which was to reach out and commit to treatment.
Q: What was the most challenging part of your recovery journey?
A: Realizing that I couldn’t do it alone. I like to believe I’m generally emotionally independent. Giving up control and allowing others to help me, especially those I hadn’t grown to know or trust yet was difficult, but ultimately the most important part of this process.
Q: What is the most important thing that sobriety has given you?
A: The single most important thing is a hunger for purpose. Sobriety has granted me the gift of life, which in turn, allows me to help others who are struggling. And although some days are harder than others, knowing that I can say, do, or write something to aid others is my gift from sobriety.
Q: Who or what has had the biggest impact on your recovery?
A: I cannot stress this enough, establish a network! My network are my sober guardians. I talk a lot about this when guest speaking at sober living homes, IOP groups, and rehabs because it is so extremely important. Your network doesn’t only have to be people who are sober either. Being honest and letting your family and friends know what you are going through allows them to help, and trust me, many of them do.
Q: What advice would you give to someone struggling with addiction?
A: Express humility and be true to yourself. It is when we humble ourselves to our shortcomings as addicts, and start to own personal responsibility for our actions, that we become ready to make a change. Also, it’s never too late. Whether it is your first or tenth time revisiting what can feel like a revolving door of sobriety and treatment, every attempt is worth it. Keep trying, don’t give up, and leverage your network.
Q: What do others say is your best quality?
A: I think others view me as having a great sense of humor. I find life is much easier that way, so I try to approach some of the darker situations with a little laughter.
Q: What is your motto? What about this motto appeals to you?
A: “It is up to you to give life meaning,” is a sentence I think about and preach quite often. Once the high is gone, and the haze dissipates, the responsibility of owning your life falls on you. I think this can be intimidating at first, but empowering once we start to see just how profound we can be.
Q: What are some small things that make your day better?
A: This may be silly, but I still look forward to the “how are you?” texts I get from my friends, who know that some days can be a struggle for me. I have such an amazing group of people who take the time to reach out to me and make sure I’m doing well. Every time I get one of those texts, it’s a reminder of why doing well matters.
Q: Who inspires you to be better?
A: I’m inspired by anyone who is self-motivated. This doesn’t really narrow it down, but it is the trait I wish I had a greater grasp on. Anytime I hear someone say they are going to try and achieve something and then actually do it, I think it’s impressive and commendable.
Q: What book impacted you the most?
A: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho has to be one of the greatest pieces of literature that I have ever read.
Q: If you could have any talent or skill, what would it be? And why?
A: I think being a talented musician or singer. The ability to express myself musically is something I never did, but would like to do.
Q: What is a fun fact about you?
A: I did Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain which was exhilarating and insane.
Q: Who – dead or alive – is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party?
A: Anthony Bourdain has always been my answer to this question. I always found him and what he was doing to be so fascinating.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
A: I would return to Spain. I found the culture and people there to be who I would ideally surround myself with. It’s an incredible place to visit, and I highly recommend it.