by Kevin McD
I was introduced to opioids after an injury that I suffered playing lacrosse during my junior year of college. I was prescribed some pills that were suppose to take the pain away from the injury, which they did.
But they also took away the insecurities and fear that I lived with prior to my injury.
Opioids had an amazing affect on my brain - I wasn't sure exactly what it was, but I knew I wanted more. That feeling started a three-year roller coaster in my life. Opioids took me to some very dark places, making me do things to my friends and family that I could not have imagined doing in years prior.
I was caught in the grip of a progressive and fatal disease called addiction.
I knew I needed help, which is much easier said then done. At the time, I thought asking for help meant I was weak and less of a man. I tried to get sober on my own with no success. It was too hard, so finally I surrendered and asked for help.
I had to come to terms with the fact that I was an addict. This was very hard for me to believe because I had always pictured an addict or alcoholic as the guy behind the liquor store with a brown bag living on the streets. That was not me. I had a job, a college degree and a great family.
Addiction, however, is completely unbiased.
It does not matter what your race, religion or economic status is, without the tools of a 12-step program, addiction wins every time.
Along with working a 12-step program in my everyday life, a few other factors have played a huge role in my sobriety this past year. One being my community. I have surrounded myself with people who have the same goal as me who are just as willing to fight this disease and true friends who will call me out when I am acting out and be there for me when times are tough. Another big piece has been education: learning everything there is to know about addiction and also trying to spread that message to others. My family has done their part on learning about addiction as well, and I am so grateful for that.