38 Years Old – 11 Years of Active Addiction – In Recovery Since 12/22/2006
Profession: Licensed Professional Counselor
Status: Married with one child
Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama
Drug of Choice: Alcohol, Opiates and Amphetamines
Initial Treatment: Inpatient treatment for 15 days, IOP for 3 weeks and then AA
My name is Adam Owens. I am 38 years old. I got clean and sober at the age of 23. I started using drugs at the age of 12. For me it started with smoking pot, and as Bill Wilson put it, "the moment I had that first drink, magic happened". It's my story too. When I got high the first time, magic did happen. My fears, worries and anxieties went away. What I didn't realize was that the feeling was only temporary, and while it took away one set of fears, worries and anxiety, it was replaced not too long down the road, with a whole new set. Not dealing with past experiences and trauma, I went farther and farther down trying to numb myself, my feelings and memories.
Things didn't get better when I went to college and helped start a fraternity with some friends, as it allowed me to drink without question due to it being socially acceptable. I was able to hide behind my mask for years. I somehow graduated with a 2.2 GPA, but left a wake of destruction around me, with destroyed relationships and hiding farther into what I refer to as... the abyss. I moved off for a year after college and spiraled out of control, drinking alone all the time, taking pills, contemplating suicide and eventually acting on those thoughts.
After years of battling drugs and alcohol, losing relationships, sleeping outside and in cars, I finally asked for help, and made it into treatment and the rooms. I didn't go to treatment to get clean and sober, honestly, but to get people off my back, gain some trust back, and then drink and use again "smarter". Somehow during that time in treatment, I started to listen, giving recovery a try, because I didn't want to have to go through withdrawals ever again, and maybe, just maybe, these people were being honest with me. I got a sponsor and begrudgingly... took some suggestions, and noticed that my life started to get better. After 9 months of being in recovery, I had worked the steps, made some amends and started to sponsor other men seeing the journey unfold in front of me.
I met a wonderful woman in recovery and for the first time in my life, I let a woman get to see me, all of me, the good and the bad. I worked on being honest, open and vulnerable. Today we have been married for over 12 years, have a beautiful son and live a great fulfilled life together. I'm grateful my son has never seen me drunk or high, but I know that if i slack off in recovery, that can become a reality.
Today I have over 14 years in recovery, I still attend a couple of meetings a week, as well as talk to my sponsor twice a week, and work with other men. I'm grateful to have found this way of life, and get a chance to help others today. There is a solution and it really does work.
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