A Message Of Hope From A Recovered Addict
This article was written by Gary Goldstein, who is the author of Jew in Jail, as well as a motivational & inspirational speaker on recovery from addiction.
Without a doubt, these past five years and four plus months have been the best of my 51 year life so far.
Recovery has helped me reclaim my life, self-esteem, self-confidence, and purpose for being.
Even though I nearly died of an alcohol and drug overdose way back in 1989, and then also spent nearly six years incarcerated as a result of my past addictions to alcohol, drugs and gambling from 1998-2004, it wasn't until I woke up on the morning of October 31, 2007, and decided that I had finally had enough of the never ending maze that my life had turned into.
I was ashamed and embarrassed that, although I possessed a college degree in journalism and had worked for many prestigious media companies in the Tri-State area, I had succumbed to the disease of addiction.
However, not long after entering the Coney Island Hospital Chemical Dependency Outpatient Program, I learned that I was human and that recovery was indeed possible.
Today, after having graduated from the program in 2009, I am now the president of the alumni committee and speak to the current clients there, as well as recovering addicts at other programs, hospital detoxes, jails, schools, etc., and understand the importance of giving back to share the message to those who are still sick and suffering.
I also speak about the book I wrote while incarcerated, titled, Jew in Jail, to reinforce the fact that it is never too late to change, and that there is absolutely no shame whatsoever in asking for help.
Being clean and sober feels great - not only physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually - and provides me with the peace of mind and tranquility that is priceless.
Never will I take anything in life for granted, from a beautiful sunny day, to seeing children playing and enjoying themselves without a care in the world, and I owe it all to those professionals who work in the field, as well as the thousands of other grateful recovering addicts who share their stories and allow me to share mine too.
If there is one piece of advice I can give to those reading my story now who are still in the grips of addiction, it is to always keep in mind that, no matter what troubles you may be going through at any particular time in your life, someone else has already experienced the same problems and difficulties, and was able to persevere with the help of others and move on to lead a healthy and productive life.
In recovery, one is never alone, and I encourage those who are still battling this disease to always seek out someone to talk to, because keeping things bottled up is never the correct strategy.
In closing, this recovering addict wants everyone to know that they possess greatness, and no matter what anyone did in their past, it does not have to define who they are as a person.
Live recovery one day at a time!
Many thanks to Gary Goldstein for sharing his inspirational words with MyAddiction. To purchase his book, "Jew In Jail," click here.
To visit his website, click here
To see some of his inspirational speaking, click here
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To follow him on Twitter, click here