In the depths of the darkest places I took myself in addiction, where all hope was lost, I completely disregarded spirituality as something that could be beneficial in my life. As I grew further and further away from a conscious contact with something greater than myself, cognitive dissonance separated me from my original core values and morals. I became content with the underachieving that characterized my life, reducing myself to day to day survival with no goals; not living, but merely existing. I remember asking my parents for bailout after bailout until the well dried up and no handout was going to fix the mess I had created. My mother would tell me to pray and it infuriated me. No prayer was going to solve how I was going to pay my rent or buy groceries or make a car payment. Coming to this conclusion, I disregarded any notion of a God as anger began to rule, veering me down the wrong fork in the road until I reached a dead end.
Looking back on my journey into recovery, there were many stages I went through in rediscovering who I was as a person. Accepting I was powerless was the first hurdle I crossed after a life run amuck on indulgent self-will. Surrender followed as I had to come to grips with fact that I didn’t know how to live life and I needed help to guide me back on the right path. With that help, it was made known to me the importance of discovering an external source that could keep me tethered to a greater good, also known as a higher power. Finding faith was not something that happened over night. It took action through humbling myself, making sacrifices, and walking the walk in sobriety. As I began to make progress and good things started happening in my life, the anger slowly dissipated and I felt hope again for the first time in a long while. I started to understand how spirituality could benefit my existence, becoming more in tune with my surroundings. Discovering how my actions affected others took me out of self and allowed me to consider the consequences of making bad decisions. My own unique spiritual journey began by accepting help and coming to Oregon Trail Recovery.
In this program, I was able to accomplish more than just getting sober. I learned what it meant to live life with a spiritual purpose. All the fruits of sobriety sprouted from the relationship I found in a higher power. I remember on a backpacking trip we took in the Mt. Hood National Forest where late at night I laid in a hammock and gazed at the stars. I realized at that moment I was finally doing something positive with my life and I was being rewarded with a spectacular view that made me feel at peace. In that instance, I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be, as my negative perspectives were shifting into happiness and gratitude. Finding a spiritual path is one’s own journey. Oregon Trail Recovery allowed me the opportunity to discover this for myself as I grew and transitioned back into a man I wasn’t ashamed to look at in the mirror. Life today is fulfilling and rich with rewards that can’t be measured monetarily or by material success. There’s nothing that can replace the feeling of being spiritually fit. This was all made possible through coming to believe in a power greater than myself, a beacon of light guiding me through this adventure known as life.