I’ve been in and out of rehab, hospitals, and jails since I was 14-years-old. The final time that I was incarcerated, I began my recovery journey.

During the first months of my last incarceration, I was still seeking ways to get high or drunk in jail. After four months, I began thinking a lot about my past, and some things started clicking in my mind. I couldn’t ignore my past actions and experiences any longer, even if they made me sick to think about.

This scared me. How could I have not even been aware of how wrong I was? How didn’t I hear my son tell me that he needed classes? Why didn’t I get him new clothes for school? Why wasn’t I more present when he needed me? These questions—and many more—plagued me.

Deciding that I’d had enough of my harmful lifestyle, I committed to doing whatever it took to stay sober and be fully active in my recovery. I couldn’t, and still can’t, get regrets from my past lifestyle out of my mind. Thank God, because they were a catalyst for my recovery and continue to remind me to never make the same mistakes again.

Four months after I committed to changing my life, I was released from jail and placed on probation. While on probation, I completed a substance abuse class and a Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) class, where I learned about myself and my addiction. I worked hard at building a new life and committed to change all aspects, including cutting ties with my old “friends.”

As a result of my recovery efforts, my life has completely turned around. My son and I are becoming closer, and I’m so grateful that I can be fully present when we spend time together. I work at a drug and alcohol treatment center, where I’m able to help clients begin their own recovery journeys. I’m in the process of buying a new car and house, and I have a new little family who bring so much joy to my life. I am also a certified facilitator with SMART Recovery, and I’m eager to continue learning how I can be of use to my peers.

When I was released from jail, everything that I owned fit inside a grocery bag. I’ve literally climbed up from the bottom — emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I’m far from perfect, but I’ve made steady progress. I continue to work my recovery steps daily and implement recovery principles in all of my affairs. I’m aware that recovery is a lifelong journey, and I’m very grateful to be on it.

About the Author

Brady Warner is a lead recovery advocate at Wasatch Crest. Brady works directly with clients, ensuring they have a friendly and safe environment that’s ideal for a successful recovery. After 25 years of substance abuse, Brady was able to free himself from addiction and has been sober for almost five years. Hoping to help others find the joy and happiness that he discovered, Brady began working in the substance abuse treatment field. Drawing on his experience, Brady relates well to clients who are just beginning their recovery journeys. He is inspired when he sees the light come back into clients’ lives, a sight he considers beautiful. Brady continues to implement his recovery principles by striving to be rigorously honest and doing the next morally right thing every day. He loves fishing, riding his motorcycle, and spending time with his son, stepdaughter, and girlfriend.

 

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