Tom's story is special because he has agreed to share his story in a time that is typically a pretty vulnerable time of recovery - the beginning.
We are grateful for Tom and proud of him too!
Read his testimony...so far.
"I was recently asked by Jack Nichols to share my thoughts on my early stage of recovery after receiving the gift of hope from Another Solution.
Prior to my treatment, I had rarely considered myself someone with a serious problem, let alone a disease. The evidence of my life prior to treatment contradicts this assessment. This delusion is a common symptom shared by addicts, especially those who self medicate their illness with drugs and alcohol. With education and treatment received in recovery, I have been equipped to heal from the disease of addiction. This is due in large part to adequately define what the disorder means.
I have come to understand the definition of addiction both as a neurological disorder as well as a spiritual malady that work in tandem to create chaos and misery for myself and those closest to me.
Another Solution is keenly aware of the spiritual disease as well as the science around co-occurring addiction and mental health problems. When I first came into Another Solution they saw right away I would benefit from treatment that addressed these issues.
I was depressed, anxious, mired in self-deception, and self-destructive behavior that emanated from a spiritual void and a full-fledged mental illness. I used to think these symptoms were merely indicative of some existential crisis, disguised as a longing for purpose, some grandiose search for meaning. However, the truth was I had been living without virtue and buried under the weight of self-will. My addictive mind led me to seek out pleasure which always ended in pain, either for me or those around me.
My addiction led me to the darkest days of my life, leaving me with what felt like insurmountable guilt and shame. I had to reconcile that I was responsible for the death of my own spirit. I was powerless to overcome my disease, and the bondage of self-will suffocated my soul. The same soul that cried out for connection to a higher power.
It's been through the miracle of recovery that I have been able to lay to rest my old habits, what we call "stinkin' thinkin" in recovery. I used to maintain a negative and hopeless mindset, which was an easy way to avoid responsibility for my actions. I chose to be closed off emotionally to those who love me in order to maintain my addictions. I had never felt more isolated than in the deepest of my disease. Gratefully, I have a newfound perspective because of the community I've engaged in recovery, clarity through my sobriety, and a spark of hope in my spirit. I intend to continue to follow the principles found in recovery, practicing these principles in my daily life every day.
Miraculously I have finally found a sense of purpose that had eluded me for so long. I look forward to living a life centered around spiritual practice and service to others that will provide an entirely different life than I've known before.
Of all the lessons I've learned in my time in recovery, the most important has been rigorous honesty. I know that this attribute alone is the key to fulfillment, to a life rich with virtue. For the first time in my life, I can honestly say I'm connecting with my heart, where truth always resides. I have been able to make this connection through the tireless efforts of all the people I've come across that work in the field of recovery.
I would have never had this opportunity had it not been gifted to me through the charitable scholarship Another Solution provided. The grace afforded me through their program gave me invaluable tools and time to start my recovery and most importantly, reconnected me to my higher power, whom I call my Lord and Savior. Without whom I would have no hope for real recovery.
As I approach my three month anniversary of sobriety in treatment, each new day brings a closer connection with my mind, body, and soul, revealing what life can be like in recovery.
I'm truly blessed for this opportunity and want to thank Another Solution for their generosity and for all those I've come in contact with my time in treatment. I know I will be eternally grateful for this opportunity. I thank you as I know my family and friends thank you as well.
I want to leave you with a couple of quotes I read that gave me comfort while on my journey in recovery…
"Love is not a state of perfect caring; it is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now. The lovely with the unlovely, the strong with the fearful, the true mixed in with the facade, and of course, the only way we can do it is by accepting ourselves that way."
"it's not so much what we have in this life that matters; it's what we do with what we have."
These meaningful words came from the patron saint of compassion, Mr. Fred Rogers."