Growing up I always knew I was different from the kids around me. The kids around me knew I was different too. They bullied me for it. The endless pranks, vicious name calling, and even sometimes violence was something I became familiar with at a young age. Once I grew up a bit and became a teenager, we all realized why I was different. I was gay. This was unheard of at my private religious school. I always felt ashamed of who I was. I was having a hard time accepting myself. While trying to figure it out and appear more “normal”, I was enrolled in every extra-curricular activity and sport. I always started off strong. Eventually, I became bored and had to move on to the next thing. Part of this was my fear of commitment. I feared committing just to make others believe I belonged, only to be stuck in unhappiness. I was never satisfied, I could not finish anything, and I always needed more. This was the beginning of my diseased thinking and behavior. I had never followed through with anything in my life. This was a cycle that would repeat for years to come.
Once I was in my active addiction, this cycle only got worse. I suffer from the disease of more. My using became rapidly intense and progressively fatal. My family believed I had lost all self-control due to substance use and that I was a harm to myself and others. After filing a petition with the court, I was officially a Marchman Act client. My recovery process is the product of a court ordered intervention. During this time, the cycle began to repeat itself. The judge would sentence me to outpatient treatment, only for me to leave after a few days and use. After outpatient they tried to send me to residential, only for me to do the exact same thing. Many failed attempts later, I finally gave up and surrendered to a new way of life.
These last few years of my recovery have been difficult. I have been struggling finding what I want to do with my life. I feared my history repeating itself. I wanted to find what I was passionate about and stick with it. I wanted to finish something. I wanted to commit. In God’s timing, I realized my passion. I wanted to intervene on families struggling with addiction and help them find recovery. Once I realized this, it all made sense. Everything in my life was clear for the first time. I finally knew who I was and my purpose in this life. I began the certification process to become an interventionist. It was no easy feat. I attended classes for days at a time and hours on end. Every month I completed only got me that much more excited for the next. I always made sure I was prepared for the next step no matter what it was. I always executed anything I needed to secure my place for the following month of training. When classes were completed, I studied in preparation for my final exam. I watched hours of videos and took over a dozen pages of notes. Upon passing of the exam, I would receive my official credential. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, during Pride month, I have passed the exam. I am officially a Certified Case Manager Interventionist Associate. For the first time in my life, I accept who I am. I am happy with myself. I love myself. I have broken the cycle. For the first time in my life, I have finally followed through, with pride.