My name is Nicklas and I am in long-term recovery. What that means for me is I have not used alcohol or other drugs since April 27, 2015 and because of that today I enjoy my life.
The first drug I ever tried was marijuana, at the age of 14 but eventually I moved on to my drug of choice, methamphetamine. I first realized that I had a problem when I could no longer function as a responsible adult. My family wanted nothing to do with me. I couldn’t hold a job. I thought about suicide because I couldn’t control my usage or my actions. When I got sober, the prosecuting attorney was trying to send me back to prison for 20 years and I would have had to do 17 years before I could be considered for parole.
When I stepped into recovery, I was in treatment court in Greene County, and that helped me a lot. In treatment court, I was introduced to an organization called Better Life in Recovery, and they talked about getting involved in the community and doing pro-social activities. I started going to float trips, bowling every Sunday and playing paintball with people in recovery and their families. I began attending meetings, found a higher power and have stayed active in SMART Recovery and 12 step programs.
Recovery has made me a better person, a person that can be trusted. It has made me a great father, and I have rebuilt a relationship with my oldest daughter. It has even helped me earn people’s trust. I have learned to be a social and productive member of society. Today, I am giving back to my family and my community.
I think to support people who have a substance use disorder, we have to set an example for them. We have to take the lead, show people how to have fun without using drugs and teach them how to deal with the problems they will encounter in life.
To maintain my recovery, I continue being involved in pro-social activities. I went from going bowling to being the person in charge of bowling every week. Next year not only am I going on all of the float trips I will be in charge of planning one of them. I will attend all of the other activities I have gotten involved in with other people in recovery and continue attending recovery support meetings in the community.