Daniel Parker’s Experience with Addiction

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daniels personal recovery experience

I have been a client at Ocean Breeze Recovery about 3 times. I was born and raised in North Florida in a small town called Palm Coast, which is one of three cities that makes up a retirement community. Growing up was okay, I always got what I wanted within reason. My mother is an alcoholic along with my father who is a “functioning alcoholic”.

My mom is in recovery but my father claims to be normal and doesn’t have a problem which is for him to choose. I’m the youngest of 4 kids. At an early age I was the only sibling left in a 5 bedroom house, which I didn’t mind at the time, but looking back in hindsight, I believe that has a factor in my behavioral aspects. My parents were there but not there at the same time. What I mean by this, is my father was there financially and mentally but rarely physically and never emotionally. On the other hand, my mother was there physically, emotionally, and mentally but never financially until she relapsed when I was 12 years old. At that time is when I had no one to turn to but DRUGS.

Shortly after making my entire life around weed and alcohol at this time, I stop doing the things that made me happy. These things were band, choir, rodeo, bowling, fishing. All I cared about was feeling numb. I never saw my mother anymore as she was using and with other people all the time and my father was out drinking just about every night while im home alone. It was right around this time (2007/2008) that I had been sexually molested by a couple of guys and I held on to this until I first got sober in 2014.

Through my entire childhood, I struggled with finding who I truly am and it wasn’t until I got sober to build up the courage to come out to everyone (who already knew) that I was gay.

I thought it was such a big deal and I wouldn’t be excepted.

Of course, I lost some friend but I have gained ten times more that like me for who I am and not what I have to offer. Moving forward to when I realized I’m an alcoholic who needs help. I always knew I was different, I always tried not to be like my mother but turned out to be just like her.

Mother’s Day, 2014, after being on a 810 day drug binge i deciding to visit my mom(who got sober again) for a hour or so and in that time I passed out on her couch and began to sleep walk, I went down the street to another lady’s house and scared this poor 95 year old to death. At the time I didn’t think this was an issue. My family found my drugs and needles and took my car keys and this infuriated me to the point where the cops were called.

Long story short, I was forced by my family to go to OBR.

I wish I can say I’m a “one chip wonder” but I’m not.

I relapsed 3 times before I got completely honest and did this for myself and not anyone else. OBR saved my life. This last time my insurance ran out and had nowhere to go, but the owners gave me a scholarship to come back. OBR gave me the tools I needed to do this right and set me up with everything I needed to survive on my own.

At first, getting sober scared the shit out of me. I have never lived on my own, never supported myself, didn’t know what i was doing and didn’t know if I even wanted it.

But I did know if I continued what I was doing and who I was doing it with I would end up dead or in jail doing hard time. After rehab, I moved into a halfway, got a sponsor, started working the steps with him, got a job and restarted my life. Stayed in halfway for about 8 months until I was able to save up for my own place. Just because you get sober doesn’t mean life is “sunflowers and daisies”.

At about 9 months sober, I got news that I had a tumor the size of a cantaloupe in my chest cavity and that I could potentially lose my life. So I had to undergo open heart surgery and was hospitalized for a couple months. I had to learn how to walk again, how to balance myself, how to get out of bed.i pretty much how to retrain myself to live on my own again which was very hard. Even though this was the hardest thing I went through, I didn’t let it bring me down. Every 3 months or so I have to get a cancer check up and so far so good.

To decrease my chances of becoming a cancer patient I had to change even more for the better. Meaning, I quit smoking cigarettes, I quit drinking soda everyday all day. I go to the gym and swim everyday, I also see a personal trainer once a week. Although none of this can guarantee me cancer free but I do know if I just so happen to be diagnosed I will be just fine because I have a giant support group of friends who will be there for me and most of all God has my back and
a plan for me that no one can control but him.

Today I live a life beyond wildest dreams.

I no longer worry about getting high or drunk. I am able to do what and go where I want without thinking about getting high or drinking. My connection with God is all I worry about and today we have a strong relationship. That is what this program is about, becoming spiritual and helping others get what you have. I chose to work in a field where I help others every day. In early recovery I was LPN helping elderly people with old aging diseases, now I’m a behavioral health tech at a drug rehab helping others get sober and stay sober. I have decided to go back to college and become what I have always wanted to be which is an orthopedic surgeon. Also going to school to become a Certified Addiction Professional which is a basically a drug counselor.

As for material possessions, I have my own house, my own car, my own money. I’m able to go places and do things without worrying about how I’m going to survive. If you do the right thing, pray and help other; God WILL provide. He will give you what you need.

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