By Wasatch Crest Program Graduate, Brandon R.
Wasatch Crest graduate, Brandon R. shared his addiction recovery story with us. You can watch him tell his story and read his full narrative below.
I grew up in a loving home in South Jordan, UT. I was the youngest of three boys and one girl. My parents divorced when I was seven years old. That’s when the trouble started for me. I had an older brother. He and his friends thought it was funny to get me high when I was seven years old. I smoked marijuana, drank alcohol, used a bit of hallucinogens with them. At the time, I thought it was awesome. I had the older boys cheering for me and laughing at me. What more could a little brother want? As a result, I was spurred into thinking that drugs were the greatest thing in the world at a very young age.
In addition to my brother and his friends, I was also influenced by one of my really good friends. His father was an old hippie, so there was a cabinet in his house with as many drugs as we wanted. You name the drug, it was there.
It was the perfect storm. Throughout my formidable years, I was doing a lot of drugs and living fast. I never thought I’d make it to 30, and I was proud of that.
I was sixteen years old when I sustained a strange, but serious injury. The injury was bad enough that the doctor would meet me at the pharmacy and write me prescriptions. When I started taking opiates, it’s like what people say — I felt like I had arrived. My prescription pill use continued to pick up steam, and I was taking 40 to 50 Lortabs or Percocets with acetaminophen a day. I’m not sure how my body survived.
When I was 22, my doctor cut me off. There was no help offered, nowhere to turn, and I really didn’t care to get sober. Life went from bad to extremely worse. Within that year, I turned to the streets where I started committing crimes and using heroin.
The next 13 years were a rollercoaster of using drugs and serving jail time. During one three-month period, I was shot three times in drug deals and overdosed three times. I didn’t even quit after that. I went home, wrapped up my wounds, and started doing more drugs. I thought it was all normal.
My family couldn’t put up with me anymore. I believed that they were the crazy ones. I used to look at people in public and think that they must be high. I didn’t think there was any way that they can go through life without drugs.
Eventually, I started to realize that something was wrong. I assumed that there had to be a better way to live, but I really couldn’t stop. My use had slowly morphed into a very disgusting and terrifying thing. It scared the living hell out of me. I battled with getting sober, relapsing, and using for years and years until I began to understand that it was my problem. No one was going to stop me.
When I met my wife, I realized I didn’t want to lose her. I saw the life that I could have with her. She makes me want to be a better man in so many ways. So, I turned myself into detox, which I’d never done on my own accord. Immediately after detoxing, I went to Wasatch Crest.
Wasatch Crest was the best treatment center that I’d ever been to. The laid-back culture allowed us the freedom to grow into who we want to be and fostered a sense of community among the clients.
This time in recovery, I tell my sponsor the truth, I’m making it to meetings, and I’m consciously making an effort to change things about myself. I will have permanent life scars from my experiences. My body is covered in a lot of scars. My left leg is completely numb and the feeling in it will never come back. The scars are a constant reminder of who I was and how far I’ve come. I love who I am today.