How are you of service?

Hello, my name is Jeremy. So I guess that I can start by asking a question. How do we stay clean? For me I knew that I needed to change something drastic in my life. 10. Out of the last 13 years I have spent locked up in prison, where at the age of 25 I was introduced to heroin. I had never seen this drug before that. And just like they say, after one try I never looked back. Recently, I was released and not realizing how institutionalized I was returned home to a wife and 3 kids. Ages 9, 12, 17. Oldest being a young woman, a senior in high school and driving. Wtf. All of my memories are of a sweet child, You don’t realize how much they grow and blossom when your away.
So, sure enough the pressures of life had me turning to what I knew to cope ,drugs. I didn’t want to go down that path again and checked myself into rehab. I wanted it so bad, to change. I managed to graduate and found myself an integral part of the groups being run inside the rehab as well as behind bars, see people always turn to me for advice for some reason. Anyway, I told myself no more construction, where I manage to make good wages for someone with my record. Instead I applied for a Peer Support Specialist, at a detox and psych facility. Where I can use my experiences to help others who are going through the shit I have gone through. People really just want to belong ya know. So by talking to someone who is going through there 3rd. Detox in a matter of weeks or drawing with someone who is in the middle of a psychotic episode. The relevance I feel at that moment takes away all thoughts of ever wanting to go down a path of no return. I’m seeing my old self every day in my clients faces, but I’m there to let them know they are not alone.

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Wow incredible story! I want to first off congratulate u on ur recovery and for making a huge change in ur life. What u have faced is NOT easy in many ways. Having to deal with the emotions that come with being released and seeing how life is so diff, finding work, staying clean and sober, building relationships again etc. It’s allt of work.
For 5 years I worked as front line staff and counsellor at a halfway house for men who came out of prison and were also diagnosed with a severe mental illness. It was an interesting facility due to the mental health aspect (most often residents were diagnosed with personalilty disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders etc). Most often addiction was a huge factor in what caused their crimes. Many (especially those that were institutionalized struggle significantly in returning to society). The struggle is real. I would go into the prisons and jails and set up reintegration plans and they often had such high hopes for themselves and unfortunately would sometimes go back :frowning: My ex was extremely institutionalized. He couosnt even hold down a job or fucntion normally :frowning: My husband tho did 10 years in prison and he used to struggle finding work due to his record from 20 years ago. He has a good paying job now but it’s in construction (like u mentioned) operating heavy machinery. He has many tickets thankfully. He got them bcuz he realizes that construction is probably his best bet at having stable work… and operating machinery is a more comfortable positon and better paying position in construction. He gets really down when he thinks about getting old and having to do construction the rest of his life. I’m proud of u for thinking outside the box and being of service and using ur experiences to provide hope for those that were in similar situations. Recovery and being released from jail/prison both require learning how to live again. U have an amazing story to tell and I’m sure many others can relate to ur past struggles :slight_smile:

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Thank-you Butterfly moon. I really do appreciate your kind words. I’m working on telling my story daily so that I can be as relatable as possible. This line of work really does help in alot of ways. I’m hoping by sticking to it. The rewards will outweigh a paycheck.

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Thanks for sharing, you were 13 years in prison?. Or did I read that all wrong… keep coming back :pray::dizzy::pray::clap::clap::clap:

Out of the last 13. 10 of it was behind bars

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Great to hear you’re doing well. We can’t keep what was freely given to us, gotta give it away to help our fellows. I’m with you!

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Just checking in on the crew. So what is crazy is that everywhere I go in town I’m usually recognized by someone, most of the time it has been someone that I’ve used with or been in prison with. Lately, I’ve been approached by a couple people that went through the detox facility I now work at. It’s been a positive experience though cause they have recognized me and said hey Jeremy I’m still clean and doing good thank you for being there for me. I’m takin back. It feels good to help those in need, like I once needed it. I hope this happens more and more. Gives me strength and hope. I’m doing the next right thing.

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Let’s go people I want to hear from you. How are you of service

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I am new to recovery again but I am of service when telling my story. Even tho I am 2 days clean can still share how I got out of the sex trade, how I survived sexual abuse, trauma, and domestic violence. And I am also of service when I acknowledge those that are hurting. If I can, I sometimes buy someone a coffee or a sandwich etc if they are hungry. I acknowledge that they exist (whereas alot of other people won’t even make eye contact).

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Hmm…
I guess my service started here by sharing my story with members of the forum and anyone who looks at TS from the web. Then I started going to meetings of Narcotics anonymous and sharing my story there, I started chairing meetings, then hosting meetings when we went to zoom, when we went back to in-person I now open meetings, I hold a service position at group level and area-level too. I have gone into Recovery houses to share my story of experience strength and hope with men and women looking to learn this new way of life we are living. I am working with a few people at the area level to put together a panel to go into the schools locally. I am a sponsee and a sponsor, I give members rides to meetings, I read at meetings, I celebrate my clean time to show that the program of NA works!!!

Oh and the most important way I can be of service is I fill a chair as much as possible.

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I just try to spread the word, let others know there is Hope for better days. Go to meetings, try to reach some of the troubled youth, let them know that there is a way out of addiction. Through the holidays i volunteered serve at some of the local soup kitchens, when ever i can ill just sit with someone whos strung out or drunk ask if they would be interested in what we have, in sobriety. Sometimes all it takes is just be willing to listen to others, give them the time of your day and show a little compassion. Knowing what its like to be out in the gutter, its tough but its all about giving hope and inspiration to others. Thats what helps me want to stay sober. Thanks for sharing your stories.:+1:

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Hey hey, just checking in on my service hounds. Wut up people. You all good? Any new service stories? I was actually present for my daughters cheer diner last night. Super fun. Was able to make a poster with accomplishments she has made in hi school. I finally was free and clean. So being there was I hope good for her and my wife.

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Good to hear from you. I am of service at my homegroup, attending business meetings and chairing once a month. I sometimes volunteer to hand out keytags (NA).

I drive a fellow addict to meetings and she is low-income so buy her a drink and donut :doughnut: on the way.

I try to respond to posts on here as much as I can. Especially the ones asking for help.

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Damn I’m almost at 6 months. On purpose, in a row. Shit awesome. Comeon4 more days let’s go.

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Hi thanks for sharing your story.
Iv just started receiving help and support from a peer support. Its great thats what your doing.
The support your offering to others is life changing.

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Thank you for sharing ur story and starting this thread. I try to be of service any chance I can, to anybody possible, wether it’s a fellow person in recovery or just somebody who needs a helping hand or shoulder to lean on. It honestly helps a lot, being able to fully be there, with my mind fully in tact, for my friends and family, and even strangers at times of need. I also try and share my story with the world, about how much my life has improved since leaving alcohol behind, something that truly felt impossible at one point in my life. I now have a year of sobriety under my belt, the only time I attended group meeting was when they were court ordered, i plan on attending more and being of service as much as I can to others also in the battle towards recovery. Although I do have a sense of pride for being able to start this journey alone, I know that in order to fully remain sober for the remainder of my life I should surround myself with others who also know what I’m going thru, getting all the help that I can, and in turn helping them as well.

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See, it’s easy to do something nice for someone else. Wow all the years of selfishness. I got to do nice things for people and family that I just disregarded for so many years of my life. So I just got a promotion at work. I’m now going to be working in our 30 day residential treatment center for men. Most of whom are getting out of prison or on some kind of drug court and being released from jail to come to treatment. I feel that I’m going to be a great asset to the team because of all my experience with incarceration and reentry back into society. I get to do groups plus it’s a slight raise… Yay :blush:. Anyway peeps keep up the good work. Head up and feet moving, doing the next right thing. Love you all.

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What a great thread, being of service to others is an integral part of recovery for both sides! A handful of friends from various programs I give service to, and one person I have met through this community. In my 50’s now and pursuing a college degree in addiction counseling (graduate spring 2023), which has helped not only myself but in others I give service to. Excited for the future.

What a moving story! And I thought half a year in prison was a long time. I recognize certain things in your story. I have a 15-year-old son and I’ve been using the same drug you used for 17 years, among other things. Then my life came to a standstill. And only since I’ve been clean I start developing again and gaining self-knowledge. But in your case you can certainly help a lot of people with similar problems that you have had. And if that also helps you, that’s great of course. I’ve been doing that work for a while too and it’s very satisfying! Good luck and good to have you here!

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Thank you for your stories. The more good we can put out into the universe the better chance we have to overcome the bad in today’s world. Remember good outweighs evil everytime. Let’s keep paving our path with positive action and doing the right thing.
I was able to sign my job offer letter yesterday, I start on the 26th. I’m excited to teach groups and share my story. I will probably learn just as much from the men in recovery I will be working with. Another step in a journey long overdue. Thanks to everyone for sharing.

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