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addiction to connection

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Tuning to a new beat

Alumni Blake Alexander shares what it's like today. @blake.alexaander

This December I’ll be 30 and I’ve been dealing with addiction for over 15 years. I’ve been to treatment 11 times. I life has been a roller-coaster for sure. I’ve had everything and lost it all many times over. Now, being clean for almost 3 years - life is completely different. Sometimes I need to ask myself “Is this real life?”, because I could never imagine myself living the life I am today.

I’m sober, I have my family back in my life, I have a great job, I completed an Audio Sound and Music Engineer Program - for me that’s a big deal, because I’m a great sprinter. I’m amazing at starting things but not as great at finishing, so I’m very proud of that accomplishment.

I’ll never forget one of the counsellors saying, “Don’t worry about ‘being behind’ in life, or what you’ve lost because you will get it back quick and tenfold.” That’s what has really happened.

The biggest changes I’ve seen since graduating Jericho would have to be my attitude on life, and the way I think. I really didn’t care about anything or anyone while I was in active addiction. I was very self-centered. It was all about me and I didn’t care what I had to do or who’s toes I had to step on to get what I wanted. I see things differently now; I care about people in a way I didn’t think was possible. I put others first – and that’s important because I was so selfish in the past. My ego is still something I’m working on and its super important to me that I stay humble because I know what I have I can lose if I drink again.

Gratitude is another huge change. I’m thankful for another chance at life because a lot of people don’t get that 2nd chance, 3rd chance or in my case 11th chance. Another thing that has changed is my drive and determination. If there is something I want to do, I now take some time to think is this good for me and if so, how can I achieve my goal, whether it be my health or music. These days I’m very goal orientated.

The thinking I had in active addiction was that everyone is either trying to get something from me or hurt me in some way. It’s not like that anymore, it has taken some time to learn how to trust again but I see that there are people that care and just want to help and see you prosper.

I now see that there’s hope for the still struggling addict.

Before getting sober I thought that we only live and then we die - that’s it. Now I believe we are all here for a reason. The unfortunate reality is that not all of us live long enough to find that reason or purpose. While truly saddening, I believe that through everything, God was still there to teach me along the way – when I listened.

The main tool in my recovery today is speaking to people, reaching out. I have a lot of conversations and speak to a lot of people everyday. Isolation used to be a problem for me, and my problems built up until a point where I felt like I could never fix them. So, I guess you can say communication is one of the most effective tools in my recovery. Working the steps as well. Talking to my sponsor. I have many tools, and I use them differently. If you are building a house, it takes many different tools to build and maintain the house. That house is my recovery.

The 12 steps have given me a life, away to live an honest life, a good life. I’ve tried everything from moving cities to treatment - working the steps is what gave me my life back.

Today I know I am a son of God. I’m loved, I’m special, I’m not alone. These are all things that I needed to fill the void that I thought I was filling with drugs. I thought I had no purpose, I was waste of space, no one loved me and almost like I didn’t deserve life. I now know that’s not the case. I’m loved by my family and friends, but as well God loves me. He will never leave me or forsake me.

To any newcomers, I would say that it’s never to late to make a change. I promise this is going to be the hard thing you have ever done, but I also promise it will all be worth it. The time you have lost, the things you have lost you will get back tenfold - if you’re willing to put in the work.

Blake Alexander


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