It’s what I advise a lot of parents to do: it’s just the hardest thing that you can ever do—but if you want to save their lives it’s what you’ve got to do: it’s tough love.
Being involved in peer support groups—with people who knew exactly what it was like to work in a setting with access to medications—was the key for me to be able to get solid in my recovery.
I've now achieved seven years in recovery and it has been a major blessing beyond anything I could've imagined when I was hopeless—drowning in despair, guilt, and shame. I began feeling peace, hope, and pure joy. The changes I experienced fueled a desire of giving hope and sharing with others the miracle of recovery that God blessed me with.
I don’t know where I’ll end up just yet, but I know it’s a good long-term goal to complete school and get my degree. The one person I got really close to in the program here showed me how important and valuable education is. It can be a tool to give back eventually, and the higher the degree I get, the more opportunities there will be to give back.
I’ve learned that I have to accept what my situation is, whether I’m in a bad financial position or something else, I just have to be able to accept it and strive for better.
I think it’s very important to start working with children at a young age and start addressing certain problems, especially with mental disorders and diseases. I suffered from them when I was a kid and didn’t get them addressed; they were kind of pushed to the side.
I guess the best thing I can do is lead by example. Keep changing for the better more and more every day, keep in contact with those people, and just try to lead by example, like I said, get them to make the right decisions, not because someone told them to but because they can see that there is a better way; that there is a light.
It is my personal mission to be a face, voice, and light of hope for recovery every day I am on this earth. What I have discovered from this journey of recovery is how to trust in my faith, love others, love myself, and be present in the moment.