My 2013 holiday season was one for the books -- I had an awesome Thanksgiving in Tahoe with my wife Ashley, and we split up Christmas between L.A. and Lake Arrowhead. I worked hard to balance each holiday between both my family and Ashley's since this was the first year that we were married. It became overwhelming at times, but each holiday was filled with so much love, laughter and celebration that any and all stressful moments seemed insignificant.
Now that the holidays are over, I am excited to jump into 2014 because I have some exciting things on the horizon. For example, I am participating in TPAS, which is an alumni organization that helps keep alumni from all different facilities nationwide connected to one another. It's one big support system that I am excited to be a part of, especially because I know first hand how important it is to have support during recovery. Participating in a program like this is something that I always hoped would happen for me, and now it is all coming to fruition. Having seen my involvement in the field of addiction and efforts to raise awareness, TPAS reached out to me to be a part of their community, and I couldn't be happier about it.
It's no secret that I went through recovery myself. One thing I know about recovery is that going through treatment is not nearly as hard as trying to stay sober once you are out. Aftercare is truly where the challenge of sobriety lies. Because I can connect with the idea so deeply, I have jumped into this project whole-heartedly.
Through TPAS I will be able to collaborate with other members and use peer support and advocacy to help encourage others to stay sober. One thing I am really excited about is getting involved in the annual alumni events we get to host. For example, we are holding a Super Bowl party in just a matter of weeks for all members to attend.
The most important aspect of my involvement with this program is to help others navigate through the hard times that life after recovery can bring. I also want to continue to raise awareness about the disease of addiction. It has been really cool to see how far I have come and I am proud of the direction I am going in!
Follow Jason Wahler on Twitter: www.twitter.com/wahlerjason