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November 16, 2023 35 mins

Join us in an amusing conversation with Chris as he marks his fifth year of sobriety - a hard-fought journey with peaks, troughs, and countless lessons. From the emotional tempest of his first year in recovery to the eventual acceptance of his addiction, Chris's story is one of resilience and fortitude. As we journey deeper into Chris's past, hear his compelling transition from a life shackled by drug dependency to a life in recovery. 

Tune in to this episode for an authentic look at the realities of recovery, a celebration of victories, and an acknowledgment of the struggles along the way. 

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome back to Unpolished Recovery.
My name is Trey.
Today's episode is going to bea little bit different.
It's a little less plannedbecause today we are celebrating
five years of sobriety withChris, so we are going to.
This one is a little lessplanned, might be a little more
fun, just because Chris does notknow what questions I am going

(00:27):
to ask him today.
So let's start.
Also, for those of you who are,this might be your first
episode you are listening to.
It's important for you to knowthat you can go back and listen
to Chris's entire story on theepisode entitled if you have a
heartbeat, there's hope.
Is that what it was?
Yup, that's it.
Okay, alright.

(00:48):
So my first question is asimple one how did you make it
to five years?

Speaker 2 (00:53):
Simple.
The question itself may besimple, but the answer is not.
I was just telling someoneearlier that my first year of
sobriety was such a rollercoaster.
I don't miss it.
And then when I seeparticipants just getting
started on their recovery, myheart goes out to them.

(01:14):
But I'll tell you this we don'thave time for the full answer
but it was people that werewilling to give back.
Like I'm here on my fifth year,the actual date is October 25th
.
That is my sobriety birthday.
So on that day I sent a grouptext out to everybody that you

(01:35):
know is in my recovery supportnetwork, thanking them because
I've had so many people alongthe way that have helped me in
more ways than I can describe,but they're the reason why I'm
still cleaning so over.
It's people that's been able tofind some success in recovery

(01:59):
and have had that obligation topay it forward.
That is the primary reason I'mstill here is because people
gave back.

Speaker 1 (02:10):
Alright.
So I like to play games, sowe're going to play.
I'm calling it a game.
I don't know if it's really agame or not, but here's what
we're going to do.
I would like for you to come upwith a title for each chapter
of your recovery story, startingwith year one, year two, year
three and on.

Speaker 2 (02:28):
Year one would be just hang on.

Speaker 1 (02:30):
Just hang on.

Speaker 2 (02:31):
Yeah, because the first year, like I said, it was
up and down.
You know we were joking earlierabout.
You know, one of the bestthings about recovery is that
you get to feel again, you getyour emotions back.
But one of the worst thingsabout recovery is that you get
to feel, you get your again, youget your emotions back, and
that's that.
First year was an emotionalroller coaster.

(02:53):
One day I get up, I'm feelinggood about being clean and sober
, I think the possibilities areendless.
Just nothing can bring me down.
And then I go to bed and wakeup the next day and it's a
completely different, you know,feeling.
I'm negative, I'm complainingabout everything, you know.

(03:14):
Just I've got somethingnegative to say about everything
and that's what it was like.
That's why I would tile it.
Just hang on, because that'swhere that program statement,
letting what I know rather thanwhat I feel, dictate what I do I
had to say that multiple times.
You know a day just to getthrough the day.

(03:36):
So, and I'm telling you, if Iwouldn't have got to hear those
stories of other people at themeetings when they had their
sobriety birthdays, or hearsomeone else share or the alumni
from the program at that timetalk about their experience.
That's what got me through that.
I truly believe I got throughthe first year sobriety by the

(04:00):
skin of my teeth.
You know I got a year.
You know I didn't think.

Speaker 1 (04:05):
I was going to.

Speaker 2 (04:07):
And you know, but it was just at times I believed I
had the fight tooth and nail forit.
But you know, and then you knowthe second year was I made it
here now what?
The first year is prettyexciting.

(04:28):
You know, you're gettinglicense back, you're getting
cars, you're.
You know you're gettingpromotions at work.
It's really exciting.
Yeah, I mean when you've I'mgoing to tell you this that for
20 years I was not a responsibleadult by any means, not even

(04:50):
close.
So when I tell you that itwasn't hard to have some
milestones because I literallystarted from ground up, you know
, getting a bank account, Iliterally started from scratch.
So so I went through all thosemilestones of first year,
everything's exciting.
And then I get to the secondyear and it's like now what?

(05:13):
Yeah, you know how do Icontinue to be a responsible
adult?
You know how do I continue tomotivate myself to continue to
become the best version ofmyself I could be?
It's kind of like second levelrecovery stuff.
Yeah, I'm cleaning sober.

(05:34):
So what do I?

Speaker 1 (05:35):
do now?
Yeah, did the one day at a timefactor change when you get into
year two, uh you know itdepends on the day.

Speaker 2 (05:44):
You know that's.
You know I had a lot of dayslike feeling sorry for myself
that I put in all this work andI'm still having difficulty.
Child support is stillexpecting me to make my payments
.
Did they not hear I wascleaning sober for a year?
You know you're supposed totake it easy on me.
You know that.

(06:05):
What do you mean?
I got to pay my my vehicleinsurance every month.
Do you want to see my key tagfor one year?
You know it's just like welcomeback to society.
This is what everybody majorityof people are doing living
responsible adult lives everyday.

(06:25):
But I do think it changes,though, like I said, the first
year, I'm barely hanging on justabout any day.
And then you know after a yearyeah, you know.
Then you start wondering okay,what?
is all this for, yeah, what a.
You know how do I continue this?

(06:47):
But I'll tell you this that Iget sponsored, which was vital
to me getting to the five yearmark.
But they helped walk me throughthat because they had went
through it and that's why Ilearned about okay, you got a
year clean, but that don'tchange anything.
You continue to work the steps.

(07:08):
So that's when I took on asponsor, or that's when I, or a
sponsor, or that's when Istarted doing service work.
That's what changed the gamefor me, and it took a little
while because I was like nowwhat, now what?
But the service work, that that10th through 12th step, you
know those maintenance steps,that's what changed things for

(07:32):
the year or two, like that'swhat.
Okay, well, my purpose is isthat I've had some clean time,
I've been able to get afoundation.
Now I've got to help otherpeople do it.

Speaker 1 (07:44):
All right and year three, chapter three.

Speaker 2 (07:51):
It was probably I would go.
How far can I take this?
Well, that's when I hit twoyears clean and sober.
That's when I decided that, hey, you know I want to.
I want to work in recovery.
You know most.
Most clinical positions and anykind of senior leadership

(08:13):
position in recovery, from myexperience, requires 24 months
clean and sober.
So, and you know I'd had in thepast, you know I'd say clean
for a little while.
Now I make all these big plansand of course, I didn't stay
clean, sober, long enough forthat to carry through with them.
But year three is when Istarted thinking about being a

(08:35):
late act, you know, being a CPRS.
I want to make this my how Imake my living.
I want to learn more about theclinical side.
Yeah, I know what it's like tobe an addict.
I know about 12 step recovery.
However, I know what it was forme.
That doesn't necessarily meansomeone else's path is the same,

(08:58):
or or their experience is thesame.
So I wanted to get sometraining to where that I at
least had some tools whereregards to where a person was at
.
Maybe I could help them get onthe, you know, headed in the
right direction.
So I think the third year wasthat.
You know how far can I takethis, you know, and, and moving

(09:22):
on, you know four and fives kindof been very similar.
You know I just started thefifth year, but four was really
a year that I got married, I metmy you know, I started dating
my wife and getting married kindof stepped out on my own first

(09:42):
time and, like I said, at leastat least 20 years that I had
attempted to have thatresponsible adult life having a
place to live, having vehicles,insurance, and could actually
look back on everything I'd wentthrough all the things that and
where I was actually gratefulfor all the things I had gained

(10:08):
Like it really started showingup in my life and I and I think
it did try to be honest with youI think it kind of changed from
just being about being anaddict in recovery to being the
best version of myself I couldbe.
You know I do suffer from thedisease of addiction.

(10:29):
I, you know I work a programthat keeps that in remission,
but there's a lot more to methan just that.
You know, just staying clean andsober is not enough.
I'd say that would be a goodtitle for the fourth year.
Staying clean and sober is notenough.
You know I started to find outthat life.

(10:51):
You know more than that.
That's just part of the picture.
You know I've got to work on mycommunication, my relationship
skills.
You know like how to be thebest, like I said, best version
of myself I could be and giveback and make a difference.

Speaker 1 (11:12):
When you set, when you sat down a few minutes ago,
I did not hit record fast enoughfor you to record you joking
about about year one of yourrecovery and you were talking
about a lost love and I reallyjust want you to.
I thought that was really funny, so I really want you to talk
about that.

Speaker 2 (11:29):
Well, kind of go back a little farther than that.
So I never made it in all theyears that I was an addict.
Addiction.
I'd never make it more than1690 days, I think.
When we were recording my storyI even said, you know, I would
really be believed that thingswere different.
I was done with going to jail.

(11:49):
I was done with beingphysically dependent on drugs.
I was tired of my life justbeing in shambles.
And every time I'd start that,take that first step, whether it
was a program or treatment, Ireally believed it was going to
be different.
And then so I'd get through theprogram, I'd go back to the
real world.
But real life would happen,yeah, and I had the same coping

(12:12):
skill I had before, which theonly coping skill I had back
then was to medic, self medicate.
So I'd go back.
So you know, finally I gotreally involved in working a
recovery program, working thestaff sponsor, going to meetings
, and I was able to maintainsome sobriety.
Yeah, I think three years, itwas the longest I'd ever had.

(12:36):
So much I'd even thought thatI'd finally outrun addiction.
So solely I'd, you know, Istopped going to meetings.
I think we went over that.
And then anybody in recoveryknows what happens when you stop
doing the things that helpmaintain your sobriety.

(12:58):
So when I relapsed, you know Iwas devastated, you know.
And then I got barely made itback into the recovery program
and it dawned on me for thefirst time in my life that I
would never be able to usesuccessfully.
Yeah, like I finally got it,like there was no in-between.

(13:21):
For me, it didn't matter howlong I stayed clean before the
relapse, it didn't matter howmany meetings I went to, it
didn't matter how much better Ithought I got myself, I couldn't
use successfully.
And the thought of never beingable to get high again it is,
that's what I relate it to islike the loo.
You know, losing a lover, yeah,like a piece of me, like I was

(13:46):
mourning that.
I was mourning that I wouldnever be able to use
successfully To get that changemy state of mind at will, you
know, with just a pill or bottle, you know it was.
It was like mourning the loss ofa lover, you know it.
Just that's how much of a holdit had on me.

(14:08):
But I will tell you this that'salso part of what saved me,
that kept me, that made thistime different, where I hung in
there is because I finallyaccepted that.
You know, just like any othertoxic relationship, you know,
even though they are addictive,but the destruction that they

(14:29):
make and usually what there's asaying like when, the when, the
pain or remaining the samebecomes greater than the pain of
change, yeah, that's whenyou're actually ready to change,
and I think that's the pointthat I finally got into.

Speaker 1 (14:48):
What's that saying?
Again, I'm trying to rememberwhat we.

Speaker 2 (14:50):
I'm pretty sure you may have to look it up later,
but it's one that.
But in the gist of it is whenthe pain of remaining the same
becomes greater than the pain ofchange.

Speaker 1 (15:02):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (15:02):
And you're ready to change.
So and that's always like Isaid.
I think I misquoted it, but ina nutshell, that's what it was,
that if I was going to stay theway I was, then I wanted to die.

Speaker 1 (15:14):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (15:15):
I wanted you know.
I prayed to God.
You know I need a miraclebecause if this is it for me, go
ahead and take me out.
I can't do this anymore.
So I'm not going to be able tomake it with anything less than
a miracle, because I can't dothis anymore.
It's not fun anymore.
Yeah.

Speaker 1 (15:32):
You know so.
So doing this, listening topeople's recovery stories in
this room, but also being arounda recovery program for years,
it tends to sound a lot like.
For a while, the journey inrecovery is like running from a
monster, like something'schasing you.

(15:53):
That recover that, and I'mcurious at what point in time
would you say that you feel likeyou're not really running from
something anymore?
You know?

Speaker 2 (16:02):
I'll tell you this.
So I had listened to a speaker.
It was Father Martin.
He was a Catholic priest thatdid a recovery.
It's called chalk talk.
He, you know, is doing onchalkboards.
How old that was.
But he said one time that it waslike getting into the ring with

(16:24):
the heavyweight champion of theworld, in the boxing ring with
the boxing heavyweight champion,and you have no skills
whatsoever and you step in thatring and you just get pummeled
every time you fall out of thering and then the next day you
go back down there and take abeating again.
Yeah, and he said that he'dcome to a point to realize all

(16:48):
he had to do to stop this wasdon't get in a ring.
Yeah, stop fighting.
And that's why it's likefighting yourself.
It's like don't hit yourself,don't hit yourself.
And I think that was more therealization of me, that not as
much as I was running for it,but I, you know I was just

(17:10):
beating myself up.
All I had to do was stoppunching myself.
Yeah, and you know that waskind of more for me.
It was like participating in afight that wasn't necessary, and
so I guess you know it could bein that sense of running.
But for me it was stop tryingto fight, stop trying to figure

(17:34):
out how to use successfully,stop trying to you know, stop
thinking about termally unique,that I'm different than anyone
else.
You know, at least as far asaddiction goes.
You know that nobody gets outalive and I wasn't gonna be any
different than that.
So you know it is.
You know that first year was alot like learning to stop

(17:57):
hitting myself for a betterphrase.

Speaker 1 (18:03):
Obviously, you know yourself better than you than
anyone else.
So I'm curious, if you nowcould go back and guide year one
, chris, what would you?
What would you be your adviceor how would you?
How would you help?

Speaker 2 (18:17):
I had told myself to stop thinking so damn much.

Speaker 1 (18:20):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (18:21):
You know, you know thank God for recovery programs
and sponsors and people thathave some clean time and
experience, that keep going tothe meetings, regardless of how
long they've been cleaning sober.
Because you're trying to,you're literally trying to

(18:44):
change complete directions.
You know, if you've been usingfor any length of time, it's not
just the actual physical partof taking the drug or the drink
right, it's the whole lifestylethat comes with it.
It does something to us that itdoesn't do just to everyone.
It crosses some wires.

(19:04):
So when all of a sudden you goto treatment or you get released
from jail or prison, like it'sjust not one of those things
that you flip the switch, it'strying to learn to live without
that stuff and and you know,always trying to outthink it.
Now, even though I was stayingclean, sober, I was going to
meetings, some of those oldbehaviors were still raging,

(19:28):
just constantly thinking, beingimpatient, trying to force it.
You know, one of the things is,you know, as simple as it
sounds, but I learned that youcouldn't get a year clean
without getting one day clean,two days clean, 30 days.
And the most important thing isthe lessons that come at those
points in your sobriety, theirvital.

(19:50):
And you know, that would be onething I'd tell myself Stop
thinking so much, just trust theprocess.
The same stuff I'm tellingpeople today that I fought
against then.

Speaker 1 (20:03):
Yeah, which I mean you were sharing with me earlier
today that the unique thingabout restoration houses that
you don't really have to do alot of that, that the boundaries
are set up, the rules are setup, so that really all you have
to do is just follow the paththat's been already paid for
people.

Speaker 2 (20:22):
Absolutely.
I think it's a reprieve.
You know we just when we're inactive addiction.
You know we run ourselves todeath trying to plan everything.
So we feel like we're incontrol, even though our plans
never work out.
You know you can come to aprogram like restoration house
and there are other good ones inthe area but and there's a

(20:46):
structure in the program thatall you have to do is follow.
That Well, we take you to themeeting.
You're required to get asponsor.
There's no choice in thatregard, like, if you want to be
here, you have to do thosethings.
Now, what you get out of themis what you put in them.
I tell everybody that If you'rejust checking the boxes, then
that's what you'll get out of it.
But if you're really investingtime and energy in it, then of

(21:08):
course the return will begreater.
But you know we're going tomake sure the environment's safe
for you.
And I'll tell you this that Ididn't realize that when I first
started this.
It took me, you know, a coupleyears down the road and then,
when I went on my own as far ashaving my own place and having

(21:30):
responsibilities, that I lookback on my time in the program
very fondly, because all I hadto do they made it where all I
had to do is get better and theywere going to help me at that.
You know I didn't have to allthe time figure out who's safe,
who's unsafe, you know, worriedabout who I'm having around me.

(21:54):
Like the program would do that.
They monitored it, people onduty 24 to 7.
Like they did that part.
All I had to do was show up anddo the work.
And you know and I still thisday I look back fondly that was
the time of my life that mynumber one goal was just to get
better and I've tried to carrythat through my life, even
though it's.
You know I'm working.

(22:15):
You know I have a family I'm.
You know I run the men andwomen's program for Pasadena.
You know, I still remember thatpart Just always make sure that
I'm taking care of myself.

Speaker 1 (22:31):
Yeah, this is the only question that I ran by you,
so I wanted to make sure you'reokay with talking about it.
So a couple of months ago youmoved into a new apartment, got
a knee injury and so I reallyjust wanted you to talk about I
asked you.
The question I asked you washow do you think it would have

(22:52):
been different if you would havehad this injury in year one or
two?
And I'm curious if you'd bewilling to share and talk about
that a little bit.

Speaker 2 (22:57):
Yeah, absolutely I.
Just in general, recovery wasthe process of getting to know
myself.
I have a lot of stuff thathappened along in my addiction
I'm not proud of, but ithappened.
So I'm pretty open book.
I think it's important.
I'm comfortable enough inmyself now that I'll tell you
the good and the bad, becausethey both come with me.

(23:20):
I just don't get a B one thing.
So I always said I know thisthat if I had the bed on it,
like if it's happening in thefirst year, I would not have
been able to stay clean andsober.
I'd like to think, you know,year two I could have, but I
still have my doubts Because youknow, at that point I'm just
trying not to use.
The whole first year of myrecovery was relapse prevention,

(23:44):
you know, trying not tocontinue to make the same
mistakes over and over again.

Speaker 1 (23:49):
But and you've talked about, like the pain your knees
been in.

Speaker 2 (23:53):
So I was.
You know I was moving, got hurt, had some weight.
I ended up having complex tearsin my knee, along with a tour
ACL.

Speaker 1 (24:03):
On a previously injured knee right.

Speaker 2 (24:06):
I'd had it replaced 20 years.
The funny thing is, since youmentioned it, so 20 years ago, I
had an ACL replacement surgery.
That was the beginning of myactive addiction.
That's the first time I gotintroduced to narcotic pain
medication.
Now, of course, it wasn't thedoctors faulted me for
describing, but that's where Igot that.

Speaker 1 (24:28):
That's where it began , yeah, yeah, that I'm like.

Speaker 2 (24:30):
I took some painkillers and I was like, oh
man, I found it.
You know, I found what'smissing in my life.
So it's kind of funny thatthat's where I believe that was
my introduction, that's where itstarted, and then I went from
there and abused it.
You know, fast forward 20 years.
So now I've got another tour,acl and the other damage, and

(24:56):
I'm 46 now, not 26.
My body doesn't handle it aswell as it used to, you know.
So I've been in a lot of painand the first thing just being
aware of self-care, you know, Iget my doctor's appointment and
I go and the first thing on mymouth in there is, hey, I'm

(25:16):
recovering addict.
My drug of choice is opiates.
Before I can start turning itover my head just to find it
that, hey, I need it.
I've got serious damage.
You know, that's the firstthing.
So at least it's out there.
So the doctors are aware Inever would have done that

(25:39):
before.
I would have turned thissituation into a way to justify
taking, you know, narcotics.
And from my experience I knewthat, you know.
And so, and then of course Itold my support network, my
sponsor, hey, I mean, you know,and I looked at it, I thought

(25:59):
about it, like it's amazing,when you're not doing drugs 10,
15 times a day, what Ibuprofenand Tylenol do for you.
You know like oh my gosh, thesethings really work.
In the past, you know, I wouldalways oh, that wouldn't.
I didn't even bother with that.
You know, if it wasn't Perkzetor Lortab, I didn't want it.

(26:20):
But now that I've been cleansedover, this stuff actually does
work for mild pain and you knowI've been able to manage it and
I just got a relief because I'mso open about it, I didn't feel
embarrassed when, I told mydoctor, my physical therapist
hey, you know, I've struggledwith opioid addiction for a long

(26:41):
time and I have to be verycautious with it.
When we get to the point ofsurgery, you know I have to have
a plan in place, I have to haveother people involved and I
have to be on you know atimeframe unless there's
complications.
But, and that you know that Itrust you to do what's best, you
know, with that knowledge.

(27:02):
So and then, like I said, allmy friends know the care and
just being able to realize, hey,this could be dangerous for me.
You know it's took me a longtime, you know, to get to that,
but for some people they can'tfigure out how to allocate.
But this is the first majorinjury that I've had since I got

(27:23):
clean and sober.
I haven't had, I've beenblessed, I've been very healthy.
Besides, you know the normalstuff that comes with hitting
forwardies.
You know the tire on your waistand stuff like that.
I've been fairly healthy so,but I've got a lot of people on
my that's the other thing.
That's different that I'vebuilt a support network in five
years that I'd never had in mylife before.

(27:46):
These are all people that arevery aware of what recovery is.
My past, you know, and they'reright there.
You know they don't care ifthey make me mad.

Speaker 1 (27:56):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (27:57):
If they see a behavior coming out that is, you
know, in line with my addictivebehavior, oh, they'll tell me
in a heartbeat.
I can get mad all I want, butthey love me enough that they're
not willing to stand by and letme do anything to hurt myself.
It took me a long time to getto that point where I trust
people that much.

Speaker 1 (28:17):
Well, I'm a and I don't know if you are, but I'm a
spiral thinker where, like,just one thought leads to
another.
I'm just way off point and I'mimagining that if I was in that
scenario, like voicing that tothe doctor, would have been a,
would have been a moment ofrelief that, like any of the
worry that I were projected onthe situation.

Speaker 2 (28:35):
Oh, absolutely, it was I kind of before.
It's funny you mentioned that,because before there I'd kind of
been building it up.

Speaker 1 (28:42):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (28:43):
You know, on my way, the doctor like man, I gotta
tell you this, yeah, but itdoesn't matter, I got you know.
So I'm like this is bouncingaround in my head.
And then, when I actually didtell him around, I probably, if
you could have been a fly on thewall and watched, it probably
been comical.
But you know, just blurting itout, Because, I'd been holding
it for the whole drive, you know, and then you are right.

(29:04):
Once I did it, it was just likenow I don't have to figure out
how to make this work.
You know like somebody else isgonna help me, you know so.

Speaker 1 (29:13):
And I imagine your doctor was like all right cool.

Speaker 2 (29:16):
Oh yeah, it was a big deal.
They deal with it all the time.
They don't want to do anythingthat would hurt me, but they're
professionals, they've dealtwith it.
They know exactly what to do assoon as I told them that they
have a plan in place.
So anti-inflammatories, goingahead and jumping ahead on

(29:41):
physical therapy to try to makemy recovery.
So I mean, I never put thismuch planning and self-care like
, hey, this is what I've got todo.
So that's the recovery fromfive years of the things I've
learned, and just the fact thatI don't have to figure it out by
myself.

Speaker 1 (30:02):
Yeah that, admitting that.
Oh well, I'll just come up witha plan, I'll figure this out
all by myself.
Yeah, and it's certainly beenyour detriment.

Speaker 2 (30:10):
Well, it's huge, because I did that my whole life
.

Speaker 1 (30:13):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (30:13):
You know, if I couldn't get it figured out
somehow, that made me less of aman and that was just one of the
biggest lies I carried throughwith me in life that I happened
to pull myself up by mybootstraps and just get it done
at all costs on my own.
I didn't need anybody.
That was just such a crock ofbull that almost killed me

(30:35):
Definitely played a part in it.
But now I've got people thatactually well funny thing about
recovery like, in order for meto make it another day, I've got
to help someone else.
That, to me, is the most honestway of helping people.
I have no strings attached.
I got to make it clean andsober in there they're going to

(30:56):
help you with this yeah.
You turn around and do the samefor somebody else.

Speaker 1 (30:59):
Yeah, all right.
Well, you got anything else toadd?

Speaker 2 (31:06):
A funny story maybe Our co-director, pastor Bill
Hart.
He's an attorney and on my waydown here to your office to set
up he was telling about there'ssome new laws about getting
criminal recordage sponged.
And I've come a long way.

(31:27):
I mentioned before you I'm a23-time drug felon.
I had one time had a 14-yearsentence and I ended up making
parole on it.
Come to Restoration Housefinished my parole and the first
time in my life the last fewyears, I've never had any kind
of legal supervision.
And so he just looking out forme.

(31:48):
So he thought about me theother day he said told me about
the new laws for expungement andhe said I said well, with the
felonies I'm a success story.
I said you take them away, I'mjust a average guy working a
nine to five.
We were joking.
When you're in an activeaddiction that's just dominating

(32:10):
your life, being an averageperson is pretty attractive.
But it did get me thinkingabout other things, about would
I be the man I am today if Iwouldn't have went through all?
And it would be bad too, Like wewere talking about.
I've done good and bad.
I made a lot of bad decisionsbecause of trying to support my

(32:34):
addiction and I just gotthinking would I be the man I am
today?
And the answers are resounding,though I would not be.
So it makes you wonder.
Nobody grows up, or as a childsays I want to be a junkie, I
want to be a drunk.
Nobody says that.

Speaker 1 (32:56):
Well, most kids probably don't say I want to be
a directing and recovery programeither.

Speaker 2 (33:01):
I did and it wasn't them.
But experiences, lifeexperiences kind of direct our
path and I can honestly tell youit just when I was thinking I
wouldn't change anything,anything, not the past.

(33:22):
I like who I am today and I'mstill a work in progress.
I wish five years that you hadit figured out.
But I tell you what, at fiveyears you have you know enough
to know that you're not curedand you've got to keep working
this, that you've got to keepstaying involved, going to
meetings, having a home group,having a sponsor, working those

(33:44):
steps continually, helping otherpeople do it.
That's what I've learned is Idon't get to take a day off from
being an addict.
I've got to put the work in andI'm so grateful that I did this
is being able to say that I'vebeen cleaning suburb for five
years is just a testament to allthe people that's given back

(34:07):
through the years.
Even sometimes when I go to ameeting and I hear someone
that's in early recovery and allthe things that come with that,
it's a reminder that I wasthere and I'm one decision away
from being back there.
So I'm just grateful foreveryone's help and I've
definitely had an eventful lie.

Speaker 1 (34:29):
Yeah Well, to our listeners, thank you for joining
us on an unscripted episodewhere we get to celebrate and
reflect on Chris's five years ofsobriety.
We believe here that everystory is important, and talking
through this journey with Chrishas certainly been an
opportunity for listeners tomaybe identify with ways that

(34:53):
they're walking through theirrecovery journey.
I would say All right, thanksfor joining us today.
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