Hi, my name is David, and I am a person in long-term recovery. What that means for me is that I have not used drugs or alcohol since January 31, 2009, and because of that I have been able to accomplish things I would never have dreamed possible. I am a husband, father, sponsor, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, hope dealer and director of the nonprofit Better Life in Recovery (BLiR).
I was abused physically and sexually as a child. I used alcohol and other drugs to escape my past and deal with anger, depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder I was diagnosed with. I was introduced to methamphetamine my senior year and partying ended up being more important than school, so I dropped out of school.
After over 20 years of substance use, attempting suicide, dying more times than I can count on one hand and being to jail more times than I can count on my fingers and toes I thought nothing would ever change. Wow, was I wrong!
I asked God for something different, and He answered that prayer. I have not used since I decided to focus on recovery instead of substance abuse. My focus shifted. I paid attention to my successes instead of my failures. I applied the five pillars of recovery: Higher Power, meetings, sponsor, accountability partners, and the 12 steps. Then I added the missing piece, service to my community, and it has made all the difference.
Don’t get me wrong, my life has had ups and downs. At times, life kicks me in the butt, and my world shakes. The difference is how I cope with that today. I work through my problems and conquer them instead of letting them beat me. Doing this has made me stronger and wiser! I have gone from dealing dope to dealing hope!
Currently, I am a counselor for the Greene County, MO treatment courts through Preferred Family Healthcare. I went from high school drop out to have four college degrees. I married an amazing woman, and we have a fantastic family. I sit on multiple boards and planning committees that are focused on making the world a better place.
My passion is Better Life in Recovery which is a (501c3) non-profit. Our mission is transforming lives with recovery. We deal hope and reduce stigma people who struggle with substance use, and mental health issues face through community service, education and awareness events that celebrate people in long-term recovery. In 2012 we did one event, Now we are doing several events every week. In June 2016, we partnered with two other local organizations to open Springfield Missouri's first Recovery Community Center.
Today, I know the sky is the limit for people in long-term recovery, and it is why I started the #HopeDealer movement. My goal is to educate people on the wonders of long-term recovery, give people who are still struggling hope they can achieve long-term recovery and people in recovery the courage to come forward and be proud of who they have become while rejoining and making their communities better!