My name is Jason. I am a 27 yr old Cosmetologist and a thrice convicted felon with 2 prison sentences under his belt. Every one of my crimes was motivated by my addiction to Crystal. I am proud to say today that I have not used since January 2004 and this is my story of recovery.
To illustrate the severity of my addiction I will share briefly about the last 2 using binges. This is the second to last. It is March 2003. I've been home from Colorado State Prison for about 5 months and already am I in the thralls of my old behaviors, you see for many years I was an Identity Thief. I made a life of crime to support my Crystal use.
Having had very little sleep over the last month I had been reckless in my auto maintenance and was pulled over for having a headlight out. My passenger, also my partner at the time, had a warrant and subsequently was arrested, incident to his arrest I was searched and much evidence to my crimes was found. Yet again I find myself taken into custody. Does it ever end? Thankfully enough for me, yes, this would be my last arrest/incarceration. Sure it ended almost 2 yrs later after a tour of the west coast courtesy of the Federal Bureau of Prison. It was in the B.O.P. that I would find recovery, Of course after one more binge in custody.
I bring this to light only because I wish to impress upon you how much of a slave to my addiction I was, even after almost a year in prison I ran across Crystal and without skipping a heartbeat welcomed the opportunity to be loaded. Was I mad? No just an addict without a solution. I am so grateful for the solution that was so freely given to me by an aunt that knew all to well the power of addiction.
It was November 2004, my first real visitor in FCI Lompoc. My mother's sister who was on her 8th year of sobriety came to see me and gave me hope. She continued to visit me every six weeks or so and even drove me home to Seattle on my release date. Through her kindness and support I was able to find a place to live upon my return as well as throw myself in to my recovery. There was a time in my path of recovery that I was completely sober, two and a half years worth. I must say that that time is crucial to my recovery today. For without that time of clarity and self-exploration I would not be free from Crystal today.
When I arrived in Seattle March of 2005, I immediately set to work going to meetings, outpatient treatment and therapy. I went to every kind of meeting until I found ones that I could feel comfortable. At first, I sat in the corner just being present not even really listening just sitting until one day something shifted. I can't even remember what exactly was said that night, it did however move me enough to pay attention, and I found someone to help me through my program. That is when I discovered that it was not only about me anymore and that if I was to survive I was to help those around me to the best of my abilities. But first I had some work to do.
I chose the program of AA to get the foundation of my recovery set in place. Through the guidance of the people in this program I was able to see how I am just a part of a bigger play called life. My role in this play was to give as much as I have to give in order to receive all that I was longing for during my criminal days. As an Identity Thief I became other people and took from them in order to fulfill a longing that was so easily satisfied when I began to give of myself. I will explain soon.
I took a good six months to get to an understanding of myself. I had an awesome sponsor that wasn't a hard ass nor was he a push over. He was merely honest about himself and what he had to offer. He spoke the truth as he saw it and never claimed to know everything. Even now that I occasionally drink he still shares with me his wisdom and experience. I learned so much in those six months. More importantly I learned that I am not the only one that has these same obstacles nor do I ever have to surmount them alone.
The real growth began when I became a sponsor and shared my experience and hope with my peers. When I was able to see myself in the newcomer I knew that as long as I continued the work I would never have to be there again. Soon I was to leave the program, not however, before I became a peer facilitator for SOS. The most beautiful part of my recovery is that it is in a constant state of evolution.
Being a Facilitator in this program has maintained the foundation that was laid by AA. Here I get to listen to men that continue to face the same issues that I faced at the beginning. Also it has given me a place to find new ways the hurdles that confront all of us on the road of recovery.
I have much more to share and so little space here. Feel free to contact me with questions on recovery, my story or if you just want to chat with someone that might have been where you are today. Thanks for reading my story and I hope to meet you along the journey.