I’m 25 and I’ve Been Sober for Over 8 Years. I’m on a Rollercoaster That’s Only Going Up.

I'm 25 and I've Been Sober for Over 8 Years. I'm on a Rollercoaster That's Only Going Up. - #VoicesProject

I remember being locked in my room. I have these little hinge door locks and I was searching desperately for them. I was overdosing. I had never overdosed before up to that point, and I could feel myself literally slipping slowly into death. I prayed to this God that I didn’t believe in to help me in my escape and somehow make it to the bathroom to puke up the entire pack of cough medicine I had consumed. After what felt like eternity, I heard the lock click open and ran to the bathroom. I was saved. The next day, I said I would never use again while drinking a water bottle I filled with vodka. I was 16 years old.

Being an addict was never something I planned. I grew up in a home where both my parents were alcoholics. I strived never to consume any mind altering substance for I saw the pain and demoralization it caused my parents. I don’t know what officially caused the switch to go off in my brain to test the waters of addiction, but I know when it started I ran with it. I started smoking pot and drinking casually with friends. Then I just used by myself. I hid my disease from my friends, my family, and myself. I became a professional liar. I became depressed. I became suicidal.

On my seventeenth birthday, I had my best friends over to celebrate. We proceeded to get drunk. But that night something clicked. I remember hearing a voice in my head yelling “STOP!” I went to the bathroom, thinking I was hallucinating. I looked in the mirror and saw myself. I saw not me, but a shell of myself. Mark was gone. The Mark people knew and loved had vanished. I vowed to get that Mark back.

In September of this year (2017), I will have 9 years clean and sober. Today, I am a happy man. I celebrate two birthdays back to back every year, my “belly button” birthday and my “sober” birthday. Both of my parents are sober today (Mom will have five years in November, Dad will have twelve in December). I live a life that is truly out of this world.

About five years ago, a miracle happened. My mom, a woman I was convinced would die of this disease, decided to get sober. I remember standing in my kitchen doorway. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “Im ready.”  She has been sober since.

Since then, I have worked my recovery as actively as possible. The circumstance of events that lead up to my Mom getting sober, proved to me that a higher power exists. It gave me a fire that has not gone out. I push myself for bigger and better things. I have a job today where I get to do what I love and travel the world in the process. Life today is magical.

I’m on a roller coaster that’s only going up.