Many of us struggle with self-confidence issues, but for some that anxiety can lead us down a dangerous path; we might drink a little extra liquid courage or experiment with an illicit substance in an effort to feel more accepted. But what begins as a confidence-booster can quickly spiral into an addiction, and for Kyle, it took over his entire life. He was kind enough to tell me about his experience — a story of loss, rehabilitation, and recovery.

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Early beginnings and a bleak outlook

Kyle’s venture into drugs started at an alarmingly young age, and he said he just assumed it was what he was destined for.

“I’ve been living this life since I was 14 years old, and now I am 23. That took a huge toll on my mind and my body,” he explained. “I always thought this was me, that this is what I was always going to be for the rest of my life. This is where I come from; this is what I’ll always be.”

Resigned to his assumed fate and unable to find the strength to pull himself free, Kyle fell deeper and deeper into his life of addiction. Eventually, the consequences of his substance abuse caught up with him, and it wasn’t little by little. It was all at once.

“I lost everything I ever had — a loving girlfriend, an apartment. With all the drugs, I just lost everything. I lost my whole, entire life. I had a whole, entire life built up, and I lost it all,” he confessed.

Finding the courage to fight back

At the urging of his family, Kyle headed to Best Drug Rehabilitation in Michigan for addiction treatment. But although he was physically there, his heart and mind just weren’t in it:

“I didn’t want to be [in rehab] — I just wanted to go back to my old life as soon as possible.”

He said the truth was he entered rehabilitation a broken man, one without a home or true friends. Still, he tried to convince himself and others that he was fine — until a little self-inspection gave him clarity.

“I may have acted like I had total confidence in myself, but I didn’t at all,” he said. “I started to get a feel for myself, and realized I needed to change.”

And once his perspective was back on track, there was no stopping him.

“I ended up staying for two and a half months taking everything in and doing everything that I could. And then eventually I went from being an angry person who used to isolate himself in his room to being downstairs in the yard and helping people. I was helping new people who wanted to leave, and explaining my own story and telling them what I’ve been through,” he recalled.

A bright and hopeful future

Kyle said going to treatment was like getting an extensive lesson on how to change your life for the better. He said it’s about becoming the person he’s always wanted to be, and having the confidence to stay strong in the fight against his addiction.

“I was always second guessing my life, and now I know that that’s when it’s time to change,” he said.

And as for the future? Kyle said he has high hopes:

“All I ever picture is being happy with my life and being confident and healthy.”

Constance Ray

Constance Ray started Recovery Well with the goal of creating a safe place for people to share how addiction has affected them, whether they are combating it themselves or watching someone they care about work to overcome it. The goal is to share stories of hope from survivors who know that the fight against addiction is one worth having, because no matter how it affects you, life can get better.