“I met this gentleman there who was another client and we became friendly, and it was the first time in my life at 31 years old that intimate friendship with another human being.  And that all started with him becoming vulnerable and telling me about his life and his struggles and stuff that was not easy to talk about.  That helped me tremendously to open up and break down the walls I had built up for so long to let someone else in.  Overtime this guys became like a brother and I owe him so much because that opened up the door to have other open and honest relationships in my life that were severely lacking.”
“After treatment I was looking for a solid place to begin my recovery and the friend I had made in treatment suggested I look at New Haven, CT.  He hooked me up with a good group of guys who he said would help me out.  I remember being scared to death to call these people.  I had never talked to them, never seen them, and I wanted no part of it.  With a little nudging I called and that was a huge turning point in my recovery.  It really showed me that I had become willing to follow directions and come out of my comfort zone.  It took a leap of faith but it was one of the greatest things I ever did because many of the people I called those first weeks out of treatment are some of the closest people I have to me in life almost 7 years later.”
“Early recovery was tough.  I was living in a recovery house and I knew  I needed to make my recovery first and everything else second.  I remember having to take a job at Starbucks at 31 years old making 9 dollars an hour.  And it was exactly what I needed.  I needed to be humbled, take anything I could get, and pay the bills.  I only worked 25 hours a week and this allowed me so much time to work on myself and my recovery.  In that time I met a wonderful woman and a little over a year later we moved in together.  I was able to be responsible and pay my bills, we had a beautiful apartment in New Haven where the heat, electricity, and cable all stayed on, nothing was in the pawn shop, we had food in the kitchen.  My recovery was slowly giving me a life.  Soon I was able to ask that wonderful woman to marry me and able to enjoy that beautiful day together which for the longest time didn’t seem possible to me.  I have been able to hold steady employment while in recovery and work for some great organizations where I get to help people.”
“Besides coming into recovery, the second greatest gift is my daughter.  I never thought I could be a father.  I never thought I could show up.  I never thought I could give her a safe loving home, where she wouldn’t have to worry about what was gonna happen next and I have the opportunity to do that everyday.  I live a very content life.  Recovery has given me the peace that Ive been looking for.  The peace I tried to find with alcohol, drugs, sports, expensive cars and all this stuff that never worked for me.  Ive been blessed to live two different lives and this life I live now is so much more worth living.  But what keeps me grounded is to take it back to the basics, remember to be present and always stay grateful that I am here today and never get to far ahead of myself.”