When you’re in addiction recovery, the stories of recovery from those around you contribute greatly to you figuring out your own story. The recovery stories of others can lift you up and inspire you but also they can force you to learn lessons you never knew you needed to learn. Whether you laugh or cry, these stories are about connection – which is a vital component to any person’s recovery. Our most recent addiction recovery story comes from TDH alumni, Zach, who celebrated 3 years of recovery just last month. We are so proud of him and we hope his story inspires you.
My name is Zack. I grew up in it used to be a small town, Puyallup in Washington State. My first time doing anything was marijuana and that was in sixth grade. I always had a lot of friends, which was weird, but I just felt like I didn’t fit in for some reason. I don’t know what. Just like an emptiness. I had this injury on my leg when I was fourteen and I was prescribed prescription painkillers and that’s what really what started it. Then, as soon as I found out that it was a cool drug that I was taking, it was completely different.
If we fast forward a little bit, I had cut my thumb off at work—the tip of my thumb—and it’s back on and everything, but that’s when my addiction really started. I had pretty much endless amounts of Percocet from the doctor and I would take way more than I was supposed to and he would still give me more. I knew I had a problem, but it wasn’t bad yet. It wasn’t bad yet. It took me three times of treatment to finally get it. I didn’t want to go, I wanted to stay high and everybody else could just mind their business and I’d be able to stay high and life would be fine.
My first impression of TDH was I felt very welcomed. I felt a sense of love and that people understood what I had gone through without even saying anything. My favorite part was Wednesdays, being able to go get out of the house and break free and go live this new life that I was trying to figure out how to live. Just for a few hours, outside. We weren’t cooped up. It was nice to be able to let some of those emotions out and then still get to go out and enjoy sunny California.
If I had a chance to tell people—give some advice, I would say, don’t give up. Do not give up. I wasn’t supposed to be sitting here doing this, in my head. I wasn’t supposed to have gotten a three-year coin. I wasn’t supposed to have three years clean. Life is a blessing. It’s so easy to look at what you don’t have. That’s the easy way. It’s more worth it to look at what you do have and be grateful for those things. I’m grateful for the father that I get to be to my two girls. My relationship with God—I just feel really blessed. I’m excited about life.