Being a blue-collar ruffian from the mid-west and having no shortage of pride and ego, I never wanted to face the reality that problems or obstacles I was encountering couldn’t be overcome simply through willpower. I thought only a weak-minded person asked for help and I was still in control and would eventually figure things out. Men didn’t share their feelings, they saddled up, went to work and went about their business. This thought process kept me in the addictive cycle for over a decade as I hit rock bottom after rock bottom trying to figure things out on my own until eventually all hope was lost. I was beaten into submission by my own doing and the only way out was to surrender and admit I couldn’t do it on my own.
Asking for help was one of the hardest things I ever had to do in my life. As I sat in my shame and guilt, I feared how others would view me from then on, like there would always be a stigma about me that I was lesser of a man. What I found through walking in the halls of recovery was this was nothing more than a false perception and it takes bravery and courage to admit you’re powerless over drugs and/or alcohol. That was the first step in my search for peace of mind and discovering what true character was all about.
Coming to Oregon Trail Recovery, I was a very closed off person, still not ready to reveal my hand, always wearing my poker face. I kept my feelings inside and found it hard to open up about problems that were at the core of what was eating away at me. Through my one-on-ones working with a counselor, I was able to slowly open up and realize I didn’t have all the answers. It was a necessity for me to step outside my comfort zone, feel uneasy at times and admit I needed help in dealing with certain issues. This was vital for self-realization and spiritual growth. Participating in groups Monday through Friday also was a huge aid in sorting through past wreckage. I was able to relate with peers dealing with similar circumstances and we all worked together towards one common goal, recovery. House Managers were yet another tool I was able to turn to help me through certain situations. Being that most House Managers went through the program themselves, they provided an example of how to succeed by being positive role models, yet showing how to set boundaries when need be.
This entire process was only made possible by humbling myself and by becoming willing to do whatever it took to find a better way of life. I also found that the people who truly cared about me were supportive in my decision to seek help. Looking back on where I was and where I am now, I’m forever grateful for the people who helped me along the way rediscover who I am as a person. I have a higher power now and a spiritual purpose for being alive and this was all made possible by letting down my guard, surrendering, and admitting I needed help.
By Keelan Deuth
Client Support Specialist
Oregon Trail Recovery