My substance abuse started when I was seventeen, but it wasn’t until 2012 that my life was completely in shambles. That year is also when I attended my first treatment center, an intensive outpatient program in Payson. I was attending treatment for no other reason than to appease a judge and my family. Thus, instead of recovery, the next eight years consisted of active use, stints in jails, and stays in multiple treatment centers.

On December 27, 2019, after being arrested again, I realized that if I didn’t change, I was going to die. Despite this realization, after bailing out of jail on New Year’s Eve, I went right back to using. But on January 7, 2020, I checked myself into Wasatch Crest. I got sober because it meant living instead of dying. Thankfully, I finally got to the point of desperation that so many of us aren’t lucky enough to get to before the disease of addiction takes them.

During my time at Wasatch Crest, I struggled with core issues and made mistakes. But these mistakes allowed me opportunities to learn and grow. My biggest struggles were seeking validation from the opposite sex and expecting instant gratification. I also had to overcome the obstacles of finding a job and not having a car.

Before leaving Wasatch Crest on March 18, I had a solid plan for my early recovery. I immediately went to an intensive outpatient program upon my completion of residential and day treatment at Wasatch Crest. I had obtained a sponsor and started working the steps. I continued working with my sponsor and completed the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Committing and following through with my recovery program really made my early recovery kind of a breeze. I no longer reverted to old behaviors that led me right back to the past.

My daily routine consisted of reading the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, exercising, praying, meditating, and living in a state of gratitude. By the time I’d been sober for four and a half months, I had built a solid recovery network by staying in touch with staff from Wasatch Crest and my sponsor, going to meetings and sober softball, and just being of service in any way I possibly could.

I am now eight months sober, and my life is amazing. I never would have dreamed that I could be where I am today. I didn’t think it could be possible with all the hurt that I’ve caused. But today, I no longer live a life filled with guilt, shame, and remorse. I’ve mended relationships that I deemed unmendable. I’m finally comfortable in my own skin. I have a car and a job. My family and friends trust me. I have an amazing relationship with a girl that I absolutely adore. My son is back in my life, and I’m also rekindling a relationship with my daughter who was given up for adoption at birth while I was in active addiction.

I have all of this today because I finally realized that I don’t know what’s best for me, and I’m not the exception to the rule on remaining sober. I took the suggestions from the people who had been exactly where I was, and who now have fulfilling and happy lives in long-term sobriety.

For those who are just entering recovery, here are my suggestions:

Read the Big Book. Go to meetings. Get a sponsor. Work the steps. And be of service. Be compassionate, kind, and do not judge. All I needed to get this great life of mine into motion were three things — willingness, an open mind, and honesty.

About the Author

Gary Lott is a recovery advocate at Wasatch Crest. He helps clients with all things recovery, making sure their needs are met and they feel supported. Once clients have completed their treatment stay, he also helps prepare them for their transition to a life in recovery.

Gary is a proud Wasatch Crest graduate. He is grateful for the opportunity to help clients who are in a dark place, like he once was, and provide them with guidance by drawing on his own recovery experience. He feels a sense of purpose when he is able to hear clients’ stories and share his own recovery story with them. Gary is inspired by seeing clients begin to love themselves, realize that they are worthy of being happy, and begin to change their lives for the better.

Gary loves playing sports, running, and working out. His favorite place to be is outside, hiking a grueling trail. Gary’s not only active, but he’s smart too. One of his biggest claims to fame is taking third place in his seventh-grade spelling bee. Gary loves listening and reading books. He’s a big Twilight fan, and he once owned two sugar gliders that he named Edward and Bella. His favorite sports teams are the Steelers, Astros, and Jazz. He’s also a proud father.

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