Four years ago, I was in the thick of my addiction. I was selfish and only focused on one thing -- using. People were advised to stay away from me so they wouldn't get caught in my path of personal destruction. Not many people wanted much to do with me, including people I had known for years. Being caught up in the public eye only seemed to make matters worse, and before I knew it, I was in rehab because I had hit another bottom. Today, even thinking about that time in my life makes me so grateful, especially because I have moved so far beyond that period of time and am now doing things I could have never imagined I would be doing.
When I first started working at Northbound, I was initially brought on as an advocate. Since then, I have worked my way up and am now the Alumni and Client Services Manager for the facility. With this position, I have been able to work one-on-one with recovering users just like myself, and help them obtain and experience natural highs (i.e. physical activity and hobbies) and stay connected to other alumni for support. I love what I do now, especially because it has allowed me to continue to grow in the professional field.
My most recent venture has been getting involved in interventions. I work with others to help the families of addicted loved ones prepare to hold an intervention, and I do this by devising a set plan and encouraging families to successfully execute them. I serve as a source of experience and support during interventions, but the majority of my work is done behind the scenes, as the interventionist does what they do so well.
Throughout the holidays, I 12-Stepped five different people, which led to four successful family interventions. I am and always have been a big advocate for the 12-Steps, as I feel like it's a great foundation for a successful recovery. Some of these people have been friends of friends, and some have even been family members.
To me, regardless of who it is and how I may have a connection with them, it is always important to help someone when they are in need. It is so easy to see how quickly an addiction can hurt both the family and the addict, and to see the pain that people go through is unbearable. I am so proud to say that it is both a blessing and an honor to be a part of something like an intervention and the 12-Step program to help bring about the positive change that these individuals need, and I look forward to continuing to do more work in this area!
Follow Jason Wahler on Twitter: www.twitter.com/wahlerjason