While I was using substances, there was an inability to live up to the values that I held true to myself. All the damage that I caused in my life was painful, but I believe that the inability to live up to my values was the most painful part of my drug use. I was always this loving kid with a big heart, but my hurt made me gravitate towards substances to help with that pain. When I was using substances, I acted in ways that completely went against what I valued.

I believe that recovery has been this process of aligning my life with my values. When I was using, I lied and manipulated everyone that I interacted with. I caused my loved ones a lot of pain and put them through a tremendous amount of stress. I remember wanting them to just get rid of me, so I could be alone and use by myself. However, I also had this innate desire to be a good family member and show up as the person that I knew I could be. My drug use got in the way of me being the person that I wanted to be. Just from getting sober, I was able to take big steps in aligning my life with my values such as showing up for my family, going to school and putting my best foot forward, and not living a life filled with lies. I was able to take big steps in getting closer to the person that I wanted to be.

As I have stayed sober, I have learned that substances are not the only thing that stops me from living in alignment with my values. There were reasons that made me try to fix myself through the use of substances. Once the drugs were gone, I was still left with myself which was something that I had been running from. The problems that led me to use drugs were still there and those issues have blocked me from my values even with years of recovery. However, once I got rid of the substances, I was able to start tending to these issues and taking care of myself. Recovery has been this process of sorting out the bad ways of coping with life and becoming the person that I value.


By: Connor Bowie, Residential Director