Does it take going to Hell and back to find inner peace? For me it did. Serenity is something many people strive for and once obtained, the goal is to keep it. Life has its ups and downs but when it’s mainly downs and scarcely ups, what do you do? The downward spiral of addiction can throw a curve-ball in anyone’s life and thousands are affected by it every day. I am fortunate enough to have recovered from the disease of addiction.
Since I was a young kid, I tried to fill this void I believe I was born with. I started misbehaving from a young age and got a thrill out of being a rebel. In middle school, I learned how to really get in trouble. I loved the adrenaline rush of being bad from ding-dong ditching to making Molotov cocktails to skipping class.
It did not take me long to discover drugs and alcohol. Finally, this giant void deep down inside was temporarily filled. Life was awesome at first and for the first time I experienced what I believed at the time was serenity. However, I knew it wouldn’t last and if I wanted to experience the same euphoria and inner peace I would have to seek more potent drugs.
Low Point of Addiction
By the age of 19 I was a full-blown pill addict. My teenage years were consumed by visits to drug rehab, getting kicked out of the house and detrimental struggles in school. My first year of college was the darkest period in my life. I finally hit what people refer to as rock bottom. Following several relapses, I wound up in drug rehab for the seventh time.
I became fearful of everyone and everything. All I knew how to do was get high. I was spiritually bankrupt and had burned bridges with many of my family members and friends. I knew I needed to change one thing and that one thing was everything.
Realizing True Serenity Is Possible
After drug treatment in Florida, I moved back to the metro Detroit area where I began my search for serenity. The things I did built the foundation on which I live my life today.
It was a slow, gradual and painful process. But I was healing every day and it was getting easier to return to a normal life. My family started noticing changes in me before I noticed changes in myself. I was genuinely happier and I had finally found inner peace. Something that I was searching for all along, but didn’t realize it.
Helping Others Find Serenity
After I learned to let go of the past and started feeling good about myself again, I quickly learned that I can be of service to others who were in my same shoes. I started giving back, and I began helping young people who struggled with substance abuse. The level of serenity I reach by doing this is unmatched. This is my life’s purpose – to help people find themselves and teach different ways to achieve serenity.
I finally found peace six years ago when I put the drugs and alcohol down. I live a serene lifestyle. Instead of looking for the next high I look for the next person I can be of service to. I do not compulsively think of using anymore and the greatest joys in my life come from within. I used to think the strongest drug or the nicest watch or having the most money was the key to life. But now I honestly know the key to life is helping others, keeping a clear mind and taking care of yourself.
Everyone has their own idea of what it means to feel serene. While I have been able to help many people with their process, it is up to you to define it. What does serenity mean to you?