My name is Ryan and I am an alcoholic/heroin addict. My sobriety date is 08/2/2016. For a little over 10 years I struggled with opiate addiction and could never face that actual fact that I was a true alcoholic. When I was 17 I was introduced to heroin for the first time. I remember using it and thinking that “this is it.” However I knew from passed family member how addicting heroin was and said to myself “never again.” As a teenager it was accepted that I drink because that is what high school/college students do. At some point in my early drinking career alcohol just was not enough anymore. It would not fill that void of what I needed. I began to use oxycontin when I was 19 and mixed it with alcohol. The first time I did that I said to myself this is exactly what I needed and it wasn’t heroin (in my mind at least). I struggled for months to stop taking oxycontin and my main goal was to get back to drinking the way I used to when I was 16. I failed every time. I would go a few months without using opiates and once I thought I was “out of the woods” something would always happen in my mind and I would go back instantly. Every time it became worse and worse. When I hit the age of 25 I had a full blown oxycontin and alcohol addiction. I would continue this way for 2 years, buying suboxone on the street and trying to drink “normally.” My drinking was never normal. Once I started I could not stop. I would want to but could not. I made a decision at 27 again to stop using opiates and “just drink” and to use my own will power to control it. Failed again. This time though I was introduced to heroin again so that I could go the cheaper route. This led to a year and half of use every day and landed me in my first detox. I was too good for treatment I just needed detox. After completing the 7 day detox I could not understand why I couldn’t stop thinking about drinking/heroin. So I picked up that day. This time was different. Wrong. That one decision to pick up lead me back to another year and half of misery. Somehow I was able to get my own apartment (which was not bad) but had to con my father into helping me pay for it. My parents sold their home and retired to Florida (due to me and my brother’s drug use) but of course they are parents and wanted me to have a successful life but enabled me in every which way they could. I knew they would and pried on them. Once again I landed in a psych ward detox but still was too good to do treatment and knew better than everyone. Once again I left detox and picked up that day and started drinking. Each time was worse than the last. I went on like this for 6 more months and each time shooting dope and drinking I was hoping that night would be my last. I knew I would never defeat this disease at this point and accepted my fate. My parents came to visit me and had an intervention. I finally ran out o excuses and went to detox/treatment for 90 days. While I was in treatment, it was suggested that I go to 12 step meetings and get a sponsor. For some reason I decided to do it but to prove that it wouldn’t work and I was un treatable. Well doing this and working a 12 step program actually worked and changed my life. When it finally clicked with me I will never forget the excitement I had about not fantasizing or obsessing about my drug/alcohol use. For me going to 12 step meetings, doing service and helping other people as much as possible keeps me sober and is a pleasure to do it. I try to give away what has been freely given to me as much as possible. Everything I have in my life today is due to 12 steps. I remember watching Chris Herren DVD in detox and as inspiring as he is I needed to hit my bottom to get where I am at. I can not wait to see what will come this year as long as I stick to what was taught to me working 12 steps.