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After years of abusing alcohol and drugs, Matt realized he needed help and turned to Sharp Mesa Vista for his treatment. Below, Matt shares his story of addiction and his journey to recovery.
Alcohol was something that was in my life from a very early age. At about 13 years old, I began drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. This pattern continued when I went to college, where I was then introduced to a different drug, OxyContin. Using OxyContin essentially opened the flood gates for all other drug use and fairly quickly led to my becoming a heroin addict and alcoholic.
My drug and alcohol abuse affected everything. I was on a full-ride football scholarship at the University of Washington when my alcohol use cost me my senior year and I had to leave school. I did a lot of bad things to a lot of good people to support my habit and burned a lot of bridges along the way. My family was willing to support me but was tired of putting up with my manipulation.
I finally got to the point where I was just exhausted. I remember being so tired, so burnt out, yet I couldn’t sleep for more than an hour at a time because I had such a guilty conscience. My mind was constantly going a million miles at once and I felt such guilt over what my addiction was doing to my family. I was just sick and tired of being sick and tired.
On Jan. 25, 2013, I went into treatment. I went to a psychiatrist and told him I wanted to get help and that I didn’t know who to call, where to go, how to get the help I needed. My doctor referred me to Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital and a day and a half later I was admitted. I had finally realized that I needed help and I couldn’t do it myself.
Going in to Sharp Mesa Vista, I committed myself to experiencing treatment with a closed mouth and opened mind. I was going to take suggestions, not overanalyze, not nitpick and take note of people who were having successes and follow their lead. The people I met at Sharp Mesa Vista were wonderful. I was well taken care of and I’d never felt more comfortable.
The 10 days I spent at Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital were crucial to my sobriety. They provided me with a solid base to start my sobriety. Through my experience and the people I met, I decided to continue my path of sobriety with Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and weekly aftercare meetings at Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital.
The Sharp Mesa Vista aftercare meeting was a great next step in my treatment. Everyone in the group has gone through what you’ve gone through and it’s a great resource to get feedback from people who are on the same journey as you, as well as get advice from counselors. Every week when I attend the aftercare meeting, I’m reminded where I came from and how much progress I’ve made.
If you are committed to becoming sober, I would suggest starting treatment as soon as possible. It’s really the first step on any journey to sobriety. I’ve also found that volunteering and giving back to the community has really helped me. I come back to speak on chemical dependency and each time I visit, I’m able to tell my story a little more. People can relate and when they talk about their experiences, it reminds me what’s important.
Today, I have over a year of sobriety. I finally have confidence in myself again. My family believes in me and trusts me again. I’ve learned that life can be easy if you want it to be and that I have the power to stop making it hard for myself. I’ve been given a chance at life that I didn’t have when I was abusing drugs and alcohol, and for that I’m very grateful.
For More Information
To learn more about Sharp Mesa Vista's programs and services, please call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm, or send us an email. To contact Sharp Mesa Vista directly, please call 858-836-8434 or 1-800-696-6899.
To learn more about Sharp's full range of mental health programs, visit Mental Health.