KEITH | Denver, CO
You need to break free of shame and guilt to experience recovery. And recovery helps you break free of shame and guilt.
I spent many years not being comfortable in my own skin, unable to deal with life on life’s terms. Tragedy and not feeling like myself sent me down a dark path that carried me into addiction. My struggles with addiction started in high school. My mom recognized I had a problem, but I wasn’t ready for help, and she couldn’t find the right resources. When I was 19, I was involved in an alcohol-related car crash that killed my friend and sent me to jail. When I got out, I was full of shame and guilt. I was coping using drugs and alcohol to numb those feelings. My life started to slip away; I lost my wife, kids, and home. From there, my disease continued to spiral out of control. The opioid addiction got worse, and soon I was doing other drugs. By 30, I’d burned so many bridges. I was homeless and selling drugs to fuel my addiction.
Thankfully, I hit a point where I was sick of being sick. I was willing to do whatever it took to change. My probation officer allowed me to go to a free treatment facility, and it was the beginning of a new life. With the help of a twelve-step program, a sponsor, and spirituality, I was able to start peeling back the layers of guilt and shame surrounding the accident, losing my family, and my addiction. I’m so grateful to have broken free from the self-bondage. I wanted to share that freedom with others and change lives. I now work with high school kids who struggle with addiction, and help them recover, one day at a time.