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y0ung42o’s Story

Member stories of addiction recoveryA My SMART Journey

I started in SMART Recovery Online on June 3rd, 2011.

When I joined I was broke and living at my mothers. Today, my money is making money and I am saving for a house. When I joined I was emotionally unstable. Today, I control my reactions to emotions. When I joined I was entitled. Today I accept. When I joined I wanted help. Today I help. I realized I wanted help quitting drugs in the summer of 2010. I sought that help with a different group after seeing a powerful scene on TV that involved someone getting off drugs by going to the group. Well, after about two weeks there, I realized it’s not like it is on TV. And those things they don’t show you on TV, well they horrified me, and they just happened to be the basis of their program. I was very disappointed.

When I left the group and made the mental decision to do it on my own, I literally felt my brain being unwashed. Then, I got phone calls from members, asking where I was and then telling me I have no chance of doing it without them and their method. So much for anonymity.

But the only effect their threats had on me was to push me further away. I was already determined to get sober without them and their method. I was already taking the first step – towards Self-Management that is.

Over the next 3 months, I continued to use off-and-on until the new year came and the lapses stopped happening. I had to move back in with my mom because I went broke and although I was working towards staying sober, I couldn’t really afford to use if I wanted anyway. But the time was coming where I would be going back to work which meant that I’d once again be able to do drugs if I wanted. I wanted some support and did a Google search for recovery options and stumbled upon SMART Recovery.

But I think the change that has brought me the most fulfillment has been volunteering here at SMART Recovery. I’ve been a Meeting Helper since early 2013 and a Chat Volunteer since later in the same year.

All I wanted was a bit of moral support, I was very surprised to receive so much more than that. I used the tools here to motivate me to get off my *** and get back to work already, I used them to learn about entitlement and acceptance. I used them to change how I react to situations in a rational manner. And most importantly, I used them to stay sober. At least for a little while.

I picked up the habit again in the late summer of 2011. It was mainly due to lacking on the SMART work, having a little money again, access to cheap drugs, and having 3 drug using roommate’s. Oh, and I got fired, which gave me plenty of time to use.

The next job I ended up at, was one of the worst I have ever had to put up with, and using drugs didn’t help that outlook. After I made enough money to last a few months, I quit. I quit work that is, I didn’t quit the drugs. I continued to use until almost all the money I made at that job was gone. Then, on Dec 30th, 2011, I made the decision to quit again.

I haven’t relapsed since that day.

Since then I have actually learned that I don’t hate my job; I kinda like it. The hating it part stemmed from entitlement, and now I accept it, and accepting it, has enabled me to excel at it. And because I’m excelling, I’m getting all those things I felt I was entitled too in the first place. Funny how that works.

Another reason I felt like life owed me something was because I felt I had the skill and talent to be a successful writer, but alas, that is not what I was. But through using the tools, I realized that even if I do have the skill and talent, that I still have to work at it in order to be successful at it. Imagine, if the worlds top publisher came to me, and said they’d publish anything that I give them, well I’d have nothing because I’ve never actually finished writing something. And there I am, feeling bitter, because I’m not a successful writer even though I “should be.” Funny how that works.

Well today, I am still not a successful writer, but (other than poetry, lyrics and music) I have written articles, essays, skits, jokes, screenplays, almost 20 short stories and a novel. And that in-of-itself, is a success.

But I think the change that has brought me the most fulfillment has been volunteering here at SMART Recovery. I’ve been a Meeting Helper since early 2013 and a Chat Volunteer since later in the same year. Feeling like I am part of something that could change and help so many people the same way it has helped me brings me a deep feeling of warmth and gratitude: I love what I’ve learned here, I love the people here both volunteers and members, I love that participation is voluntary, I love that it’s focused on Self-Management, I love that it’s science based, I love that it’s free for all and the all for whom it’s free are what keeps it alive.

So, for a long story short, SMART Recovery is the only reason that I have gone from HUGE LOSER to PERFECT PERSON.


My life is by no means easy, but it isn’t too hard either. For example, dealing with the deaths of those 3 former roommates of mine has been really tough. But knowing how to apply the tools has made an immeasurable impacton my ability to look at the hard times as not so hard, and having that attitude, enables me to use theother tools tothen manage that hard time, which again, makes the hard times that much easier.
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Oh, and did I mention that I’m sober?

Yeah, that’s a huge bonus too.