DANIEL's Story 

"It all began with me being so out of control, that my wife kicked me out. I had no where that I wanted to go. I decided to check myself into the local Veterans Administration hospital. I was locked in the Psych Ward for five days. I agreed to go to program an hour away from home. Thank God I had a clear thought, the farther away from home, the greater possibility of me actually getting something out of this program.

I checked into this program and had no desire to be there. I went through he paces for the first week. One night my wife told me that she was moving on with her life without me. I finally broke down, I felt my world falling in on me. I didn’t want to wake up the next day, I just didn’t care about anything at all. I remember being on the floor inconsolable, I begged God to stop the pain that racked my body. I had a moment of clarity, a epiphany I believe. I gave into all that I held dearly and surrendered to God. I gave away all my pain, hate, hurt and lies and finally let God have that weight. At that very moment, I felt a weight lift off me and I slept peacefully.
I began to see where my life was at and why it was there. I accepted that my addiction was my own and no one else’s. I put myself in my hole. The only way out was to begin to listen, ask questions and begin to trust. To trust my mentors and take their advice. I accepted and understood what I brought to the table and took responsibility for my actions. After 60 days I left this program and began another one.

The Veterans Administration has a nationally recognized program in the San Francisco Bay Area, that I was blessed to be accepted to. This program gave me tools to live life in a normal way and to be able to think, act and communicate in a clear manner. I can face anything in life as long as I don’t use. I have seen what this program has given to me and countless other veterans. I now have healthy relationships with my friends and families. I’m now welcome where before I was not. I am a father to my children and am totally honest with them about my struggles. I have a healthy, honest and open relationship with their mom. She did the best thing for herself, our children and me, by kicking me out.

I fall asleep at night, not pass out. I work, not scam. I help, not take away from. Life has had struggles and dark times. But I remember all my scars as signs that I can get through any storm life brings. I can face any obstacle and hardship as long as I do not fall into the behaviors that will allow me to pick up a bag."

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Addiction Recovery Research Center

Fralin Biomedical Research Institute

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