U.S. Army Veteran
While going through one of the most traumatic experiences a person could go through forcing me to walk away from everything that you hold dear, job, friends, and family, especially my mom. My life for what it’s worth had no worth, for the unknown of another city. There is no light where there’s darkness which meant a father on his deathbed only made it darker. Depression, drugs, and alcohol landed me in the hospital almost dying which was the beginning of my journey of recovery.
Uncertain about my future and not having a desire to live in the state that I was in, God did for me what I couldn’t do for myself. Somebody made a decision to admit me to the psych ward where they introduced me to the option of treatment also in the VA Hospital, still in a fog, I agreed that I needed some kind of help. The VA basically nursed me back to health, mentally, physically, and even spiritually because they had a Chapel where I could go and argue with God about this situation that I was in and why He didn’t just let me die? There was a nurse who helped me with that kind of thinking when she asked how my mother would feel if they had to tell her how I died and how they found me and my thought pattern changed because my mom has never had to bury any of her children and we were raised in Chicago.
Sometimes I view it as the fight of my life, and no matter how many times I get knocked down I would always try to get up regardless if I made it or not, I would even try just to prove somebody wrong. The VA had various groups, meetings, therapists, counselors, and doctors. Alpha Omega Veterans Services (AOVS) facilitated one of the meetings and on a stormy night, we thought the meeting was canceled due to the weather, around starting time these guys walked in from a storm to bring us a meeting, and from that moment I knew. A guy said that a storm would not have stopped him from getting high and destroying a life so why would they let it stop them from saving a life, it was my life literary. I’m the only member of my treatment class going on 15 yrs.
Alpha Omega truly cared about the veterans they were trying to help and as a veteran, most of us feel like a lot of people don’t really care, it’s lip service at best. AOVS was started by a mother which is a love you can’t manufacture. It was never about what you have or don’t have but how can we help. They gave me the opportunity to heal and stand on my own two feet and inspired hope, set goals and go after them. They introduced me to the Peer Recovery field and after becoming Certified, I was given a chance to be Alpha Omega’s Certified Peer Recovery Specialist; which I have done for more than 12 years. If I’m blessed to see January 18th I will have 15 years clean and sober for the first time, now it’s my turn to give back what was freely given to me. My life is 100% better than in 2008 and for that, I’m truly blessed.