by Marcello C-B

My journey started back in 2015 when I first heard the idea in Hellenvine detox of going into a program. My mind thought it was like a camp. Over the years my behavior has caused me to go in and out of rehabs. I have used various types of drugs and alcohol has been my gateway into everything else. It’s been one hell of a self-destructive path which has not been easy to get out of. Even after growing up in the rooms of A.A. it still didn’t click. I chose the drug scene since the lifestyle was the one I gravitated towards instead of the clean and sober lifestyle. 

For years I failed myself, my family and countless friends that tried their best to sway me away from continuing the life I had built in the streets. It became clear that a change needed to happen in my life. I started to go in and out of programs in the City and each time I left or got kicked out. 

I decided there was a better life than the one I was living

Finally I started to take recovery a bit more seriously, not to mention the countless brothers I met in programs that have passed away due to overdosing because they thought they could take the same amount as they did before. Even after losing several brothers to addiction I myself returned to it a few more times. Every time I came back I felt nothing—until this last time I relapsed. A power greater than myself touched me and I decided that there was a better life than the one I was living. There was so much I was desperately looking for. 

When I was offered a unit in an SRO (Single Residency Occupancy) in SOMA/South of Market on 6th Street, an area where I had actually bought drugs and used before, I relapsed on the same day I moved in. I didn’t hesitate to throw away the 45 days I had accumulated in MSC South, St. Vincent de Paul’s Multi-Service Center. I knew I’d had reservations in the past, since I’ve never in my life worked the 12 steps of A.A. or any program thoroughly and honestly. Still I wasn’t so sure why I was so easily falling back into addiction every time! Wondering why I couldn’t get 24 hours to a week together sober.

I started to talk to my current sponsor at High Noon

I started to talk to my current sponsor at High Noon. This is the meeting I frequent most of the time which is located on 23rd & Capp Streets in the Mission District. I’ll be honest, he looked a bit like he wanted to be left alone, right, so who am I to disturb that or get caught up in a disgruntled situation. After a while of going to that meeting I gave it a shot: I asked him if he would sponsor me. To my amazement he said yes.

I started to work with this sponsor who has shown me nothing but respect, dignity and trust the whole time. He has been with me from Day 1 in recovery and my insanely many relapses in the past four months. I tell you I don’t know where I would be today if he would have dropped me. 

photo credits available upon request from [email protected]

Today and every day now I see recovery as a beautiful thing in my life. It’s got a grip on me like the dope did once, but it’s much stronger, like my faith in a higher power. I am so grateful to be sober today and i never thought those words would ever come out of my mouth. Even at 72 days clean and sober today I feel like I have a year clean and sober. My family is in my life today more than ever. I can only say they are happy I’ve finally made a full-time commitment into recovery.

The light that was once dimmed finally got a chance to shine bright again. Instead of cries and doors being closed on me, now I see smiles, laughter and open doors—as long as I continue on this path. I am really, really happy to be on this new journey and so much growth is taking place that I didn’t even know was possible. I honestly live recovery today to the fullest. 

Today I’m trying new things like meditation

Today I practice honesty, integrity, loyalty, truthfulness and self-love like gym time. Plus I’m trying new things like meditation, and soon I’ll be trying out a bit of yoga per my therapist’s suggestion. I have to take positive suggestions for a better me. Who knows? It might be something I’ve been missing in my life. I’ve changed so much about myself this past 72 days, from the music I listen to today to how I behave towards others. Today I can honestly say I love my life and all the people involved in my journey. This wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t put my faith in God’s hands from the beginning. Now I have to let him guide and shine the way on my path. My sponsor has been a big part of my recovery since he stuck with me when no one did (Thank you, Tommy).

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