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My Ever Revolving Recovery Journey by Michael Crouch

Finding My Path to Recovery

My ever-evolving recovery journey began January 2013 when I entered a drug and alcohol detox in Greenville S.C.

I was addicted to multiple substances, such as Alcohol, Xanax, Cannabis, and whatever Opioid I could get my hands on. I also had my bouts with Methamphetamine, Cocaine, LSD, and Ecstasy. Other than a short stint on MAT, I had misused substances continuously for well over a decade.

I finally came to a place where I wanted a change.

This was not “rock bottom”; it was more along the lines of a car running out of gas and calling AAA for help. It was not because of one of my thirteen arrests or the overdose I experienced many years before. Nope. It was merely a long ride that had come to an end. I was thirty-four and ready for something different.

And So My Recovery Journey Begins

After spending ten days in detox, I returned to my home town of Seneca, S.C. where I began attending local 12-step meetings.

I credit the members of these groups with saving my life because they gave me the support I needed to construct and sustain long-term recovery.

Engagement in this community was crucial. I had very few coping skills and no support for recovery other than my family. The members of these mutual aid groups truly “loved me until I could love myself”. I gained self-esteem, and developed much needed internal and external coping skills that allow me to process my feelings and cultivate healthy emotional regulation. I began working a 12-step program with a sponsor and committed to this new way of life 110%.

Who Could Ask For More?

I averaged about ten to fourteen meetings a week and had replaced my drive to use substances with a drive to recover.

I was told recovery was a lifelong process, and I would always need to attend meetings and work with a mentor to remain abstinent.

Well, that was fine with me because I was benefiting from doing so, and my life was improving tremendously. For the first time in my life I had a job with benefits, my family interaction was great, I was taking multiple vacations a year, and most importantly I was extremely happy. Very happy!

Who could ask for more?

The Cookie-Cutter Trap

Then, I was told I needed to “give back what was so freely given to me”. This was not a problem. I loved helping others, and I enjoyed going to meetings. Slowly my passion became ideological and dogmatic. I was convinced “my way was the best way’ and others simply did not understand addiction or recovery. Arguments with others started as I tried to convince them to do recovery as I did and admit they were an “addict”.

I had a cookie-cutter mindset that is far from the person-centered approach I currently employ to advocate for individualized paths to recovery.

The Next Chapter

Some five plus years into my recovery on July 1, 2018 a new chapter of my life began.