Throughout the year, MARC offers an opportunity for individuals or organizations to contribute a guest blog for our website, in an effort to have more voices heard regarding addiction, addiction treatment, and recovery. The following is a guest blog written by Tim Weber.
The Month of September is National Recovery Month.
Thankfully, for me, every month since my sobriety date in 2003, is a celebration of recovery. Every month is a celebration of gratitude. And, every month gives me a new opportunity to reach out to those who are addicted and seeking the ultimate change in their lives—recovery. I work hard every day to show others that recovery is possible, no matter how many relapses they have or how much loss of faith they suffer.
My story of addiction and recovery started when I first developed a dependency on alcohol and drugs in college. I started down the winding path of drinking and partying, drugging and stealing, lying and cheating, and falling down a downward spiral that I thought would never end.
After falling in love with drugs and alcohol, losing jobs and relationships, and even becoming homeless, I had nowhere to turn. My family and friends were tired of dealing with me, and all of the hurt and disappointment that I caused them.
None of this, however, helped me to change. I was on death’s door many times, in and out of hospitals, and all too familiar with law enforcement.
What eventually helped me to achieve and maintain recovery?
Well, it’s a very simple, yet powerful thing. Every time I went back to drugs and drinking, I saw a look of anguish in the faces of my friends and family. That look of pain was on the faces of my father, my rehab counselor, my children, and my very special girlfriend.
As I describe in my new book “Heroin: The Ripple Effect,” it was a look that I had grown accustomed to. However, it finally hit me like a ton of bricks. As this excerpt from my book explains:
“This was the first time in my life that God allowed me to feel, I mean really feel some emotions. They were intense, and I saw the same look I had caused in all the people who loved me.”
Realizing all of the trauma that I was creating around me was what saved my life. My loved ones were not willing to pretend by putting on happy faces. They were no longer willing to overlook things. The look that saved my life said enough is enough, and was the seed from which recovery has blossomed.
Back in those dark days, drugs and drinking were more important than anything. When things turned around for me, gradually, I was able to stay sober and work through the 12 Steps. I started feeling productive. I got a job and started catching a bus to work. I literally made enough money to catch a bus for a week, pay my hundred dollars a week rent, and maybe buy a hamburger at a fast-food place. But I was doing it all on my own, and I was feeling really good about that, as I shared in my book.
What is my life like today? Well, the look of disappointment that I saw everywhere around me has been replaced by looks of pride and love. I have the most supportive set of friends and family, and that support is evident in their expressions when they are with me.
Today, I am the community education liaison for the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s office. I am regularly invited to schools to talk with youth about addiction, as I try to plant a seed of prevention. I have a loving wife, Kathy, and a beautiful toddler son, Declan. I have two grown children who have blessed me with grandchildren. My father and I have never been closer, and my brothers and I share a tight bond.
The look that saved my life, which at one time, looked like hopelessness and fear, is now a look of happiness, which encourages me to stay sober every day. During Recovery Month, and during every day, week, and month of the year, I will always remember how wonderful the support of those around me feels when I look into the eyes of each and every one of them.
This was a guest blog written by Tim Weber, a person in long-term recovery from a substance use disorder since 2003. Tim is the Community Education Liaison for the States Attorney’s Office in Carroll County, Maryland, and also serves on the Carroll County Behavioral Health and Addictions Planning Committee, Opioid Response Team, and is the founding board member of the Triangle Recovery Club. Tim is a certified through the Maryland Association of Prevention Professionals and Advocates as a prevention specialist, was the winner of the 2011 Risky Business Award for substance abuse prevention and the 2014 DEA’s Light of Hope award, and in 2017 received a governor’s citation for his work in the field of prevention and treatment for substance use disorders. He is also a published author of three books: Gutters and Roses, With Notes from a Sober Home, and Heroin: The Ripple Effect.
If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorder issues, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at [email protected]. For more information on all of our drug addiction, alcohol addiction and co-occurring disorder services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.