“I’ve been battling addiction for about 16 years now. At 18, I was homeless, living in a car, in motels, sometimes shelters, and on the street. I was stuck shoplifting convenience stores for food most times. I was barely employed, and when I was it was only for about 2 months. Other than that, sometimes I would work the day shift at home depot to make a small amount of money.
My relationships were awful during this period of time, I barely had any. I didn’t have a relationship with my family, or even my own children. The darkest point in my addiction was when I went from smoking to IV, and then my brother died. At his funeral my family barely talked to me, and I decided it was time to change. While I was in the process of changing, I heart my grandmother was going to pass soon and I knew It was time to take it more seriously. My family refused to talk to me, and I didn’t know that my grandmother passed for months. This is when I decided I was going to change for good, for my grandmother. I attended 2 other addiction recovery programs prior to Next level Recovery, and they didn’t fail me because I took them seriously.
When I first got to next level recovery, it was a good change of pace for me. It wasn’t quite as structured as later on, but it was much more comfortable than living on the streets. I was very confident coming in, and I felt good about helping myself and others. The house was great to network and rebuild. I got a job doing demolition about a month and a half after coming to NLR. I’ve found that lots of companies actually want to hire recoverees, and I was able to get a job doing security at the saltaire. I was able to run the house which was great for leadership skills.
The house and environment was very comfortable, and was occasionally isolated, but that was good. I got to see lots of friends recover, although there were some slip ups. When getting ready to leave, I felt very 50/50. I needed to make sure I had my basic needs. Leaving was not easy, but it wasn’t detrimental either. I felt so much better about staying abstinent after leaving. And now, I talk to children weekly, I saw my son for the first time in 3+ years. I’m taking it slow because I know the damage I did and I must rebuild.”