Skateboarding On Heroin

SOA 30 | Heroin


Sterling is a 34-year old male from Santa Cruz, California. He talks honestly about this addiction to Heroin (and use of other drugs) that lasted for nine years. He came as close to losing a wife and two children that he loves. His honesty is inspiring.

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Skateboarding On Heroin

ACL knee injury skateboarding started a 9 year run on Heroin.

In this episode, I will be talking to Sterling about his addiction and his recovery from addiction. Sterling is a former client at The Gault House Sober Living Environment in Santa Cruz, California. He is 34 years old and he has been addicted to heroin primarily. He has had issues with a number of other substances as well. He’s four years clean. Why don’t you tell us how your addiction got started?

A lot of people believe they’re born addicts and I don’t believe that I was. I had addict parents and I feel that my addiction came in later years by the decisions that I made through my early years as a teenager. I started smoking weed with all my friends, skateboarding and partying with all the kids from school. I will say this that I feel like I always abused and used drugs to the extreme. The addiction that I see whether I had the obsession to use over all other aspects of my life didn’t come about 21 when I started using heroin.

I’m curious if the people you were using with early on, did you distinguish a difference in how you use versus how they used?

There were different groups of people that would use on a school night. They use all through the night and keep going. I was definitely one of those people. There are other people that would be in between that. I didn’t do that great in school. I didn’t have opportunities to go to college right out of high school. I felt that I was an athlete, but I wanted to be a professional skateboarder and aspects of that life came drink, party and skateboard. Then what happened for me when I got hooked on opiates, I tore my ACL. I had no money for surgery and no insurance. I sat around trying to recover and I did a lot of drugs. I came upon heroin. I don’t remember ever stopping until I finally got clean four years ago.

ACL knee injury skateboarding started a 9 year run on heroin. Click To Tweet

Was it the physical pain relief that led you to heroin initially or were there other factors at play there?

At first, the brain convinces yourself you’re going to keep doing it because it’s a pain reliever. I was hooked to opiates the first time I ever did them. I woke up the next morning wanted to do it again and again. I remember the first time getting dope sick, I didn’t even know that it was a thing. I called my friends like, “What’s wrong with me?” He told me, “You’re dope sick.” You did heroin for fourteen days in a row. I was like, “I’m not going to do that.” That never happened. That was the first time I told myself I was going to quit. I didn’t do what I said I was going to do. I’ve always had that part of it like it’s a secret life. I’m currently married to my wife for the last thirteen years. I have a twelve-year-old daughter and an eight-year-old son. I did everything to throw that thing away, to get more dope. I had the most intention to get clean, to stop doing what I was doing. That I have to do everything I promised to my wife about getting a job and quitting, which I wasn’t able to do it. My wife and I have known each other since second grade. We’ve been best friends since fifteen and we got married and had kids at 22. True love and soulmates and it got so bad that she was done with me. Fortunately, that’s what it takes sometimes to get people clean. Fortunately for me, I was able to get her back but a lot of people they go too far. I went too far, but I was able through my recovery to gain back some trust.

It doesn’t sound like she dealt with addiction issues for herself. Do you think there were elements of enabling? That maybe she didn’t recognize how severe your problem had become right away? How long did it go on? How long was it a serious problem for you and maybe she didn’t recognize how serious it was?

I was very in denial about my problem so that I sounded very convincing to her that I didn’t have a problem. I would say my wife party. She did stuff. When life showed up, she got married and have kids, she was able to not do anything anymore, go to work and go to school. I wasn’t able to do that. She was convinced for probably four or five years that I was going to hold these promises of going back to school or getting a job and paying a bill. It’s about five years of not willing to admit that she knew until she was finally convinced by her parents and friends that I was a piece of crap and that I needed to go. By all means, I did not do anything that a father and a husband should do to their family. When I finally did it for me to get clean, she’d kicked me out. She still loves me and it’s the hardest thing for her to do. She would let me live in the back shed. I can’t see the kids that can come inside. She made me crash there because she was worried about me. She knew being out on the streets and being addicted, she didn’t want me to die.

SOA 30 | Heroin
Heroin: Being an addict is having some obsession in your mind that couldn’t be stopped; breaking the promises to the ones you loved the most.


How are you taking? Were you shooting at this point or were you smoking it?

For the longest time, I was mainly a smoker. I go through spurts of shooting. Then I’d get over it to smoke and then I start mixing speed, meth and heroin together. At the end, I was definitely shooting a lot more. I always was mixing it up. I wasn’t just a shooter or a smoker at the end. Being out of my family’s house I was in denial. I’d finally come to terms and knew I was an addict. I could not stop. Hundreds of times I had plenty of dope to go off in the morning. I’m like, “I’m over it. I’m going to use everything I have tonight. Tomorrow, I’m going to wake up clean. I’m not going to do it again.” I would be at the dope man’s house before I even remember telling myself that the night before. Completely going against everything that I knew I wanted. I had the utmost intention to do these things but there is some obsession, something in my mind that I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t hold the promises to the ones that I love the most. Back to where I would take my kids, they copped out. It’s a weird thing to say but I was way better parent loaded than when I was dope sick. When I was dope sick, I did not give a crap. For me, I wasn’t getting high. I was just getting not sick. It was that bad.

Did your kids have any idea? How did you hide it from them?

I walk myself in the bathroom and in the bedroom. They are so young that they would see the tinfoil not knowing what it was. You’re able to hide and lie to them. I’m sure when they get older, they will ever see something like that they’d be like, “I didn’t know my dad was smoking joints as a kid.” When I started smoking joints, I realized that’s what he was doing. My son was too young. My daughter was eight when I got clean. Back to what got me clean, how bad did it get? I’d come to terms that I was an addict. I wanted to get clean but my family and friends had helped me already. I was like, “I don’t need help but I’ll do it because you say I need it.” When I wanted it and needed it, they weren’t there for me. I wasn’t eligible for any type of program through insurance. We didn’t have medical. My wife had an income and I didn’t. I became suicidal but I didn’t want to die. I wanted to kill the person I’d become. A lying, cheating and thieving person. I just want that person to be gone.

A lot of people believe they're born addicts. Click To Tweet

I thought the only way was to take my life. It was such an intense thought that I tried to intentionally overdose. Fortunately, I can’t afford it because my addiction levels and my body was so saturated with the drug. I had written a letter to my wife and it scared her. She woke me up in the back shed and said, “I’m going to call the cops.” She’d called the Suicide Hotline. I didn’t know it was a thing and she had gotten advice. She was like, “He needs a program. If he goes to the emergency room and signs a 5150, he’s instantly eligible for mental health funding.” She brought that by me and says, “If you don’t go to the hospital, I’m going to call the Sheriff’s and they will take you.” I have this letter. It was to help me. I look at it this way while in recovery, we talked about a Higher Power and before that, I hadn’t been willing to look into that or even if one was working in my life, be able to recognize it.

I was in the program within three days. Instantly I was getting that low, hitting that bottom and getting suicidal and all the things that happened was definitely a Higher Power working my life trying to save it. I didn’t get clean at that time. I had 30 days but I didn’t work the program. It was the first time where the recovery was planned, where I knew and went to the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous. I saw people getting cleaned. I saw people’s lives changing. It gave my wife hope and then I piss it all away again. About eight months later, she made me leave the house again after I came back. She thought I had a whole 90 days. I lied. Being the addict, I was a very good manipulator. Her wanting the father of her children and her best friend since fifteen and husband for nine years, she had that hope. She asked me to leave again eight months later when I couldn’t hide anything longer. I can’t lie about anything anymore.

How strong and messed up my addiction was, I should have been even sadder and depressed. She was gone. She said she was divorcing me. Something told me like, “I don’t have to lie about it anymore. I can use. I don’t have to hide it.” A very short time later, I always told myself I had enough heroin. If I would have enough not to get dope sick, I’d be able to go to work and hold that job. I wouldn’t have to disappear and wait for the dope man for four hours and she’d be like, “Where were you?” Not coming home with dope money or the milk. I ended up coming up on a large portion of money, totally randomly in my dad’s garage. He’s asleep one night and I found a check from my grandma who had passed away for $3,000. I’m not living at home. That’s over. I know I’m going to be a dealer now. I was selling heroin. I was in my dad’s garage again.

The addict brain convinces yourself that you're going to keep doing it because it's a pain reliever. Click To Tweet

I was more miserable than before. I had all the dope and I thought I was going to be okay. I knew I’d never had that before. I didn’t have to worry about getting sick and doing things. I was so miserable and over my life. My mom called me. Prior to this, my mom would not have anything to do with me. She would see the kids on Christmas. She was mad at my wife for not kicking me out sooner. She had done some research on heroin and how it hijacks your brain. She wanted to help me. I was like, “I’m over this. I need help. I don’t want to do this.” She called, “Higher Power, this is your chance.” She’s like, “I know you’re homeless. I know she’s divorcing you. Come up to Sausalito, California and I will get you into a program. I will pay for it and we will help you.”

My addict brain kicks back in. I got two ounces of dope. I was straight up with my mom. I’m selling dope and I said to her, “Can I sell it all first and then come up there?” She said, “Flush it and I will take care of you.” I flushed a lot of it. I told her that I flushed it all. I hid a bunch in my ass. My brother came with another addict in the program, who I don’t know if he was clean. He was coming to try and come up on my stuff. He had me a Xanax bar and I had been up for a while. At that point and mixing speed and heroin. I blacked out and they went through all my stuff, found the rest of it and got rid of it for me. When I woke up at her house in Sausalito, it was February 1st and I’d been clean since that day. It’s a weird thing and I’ve talked about this with my sponsor in Narcotics Anonymous many times. I know I wanted my mommy. I don’t use that word mommy, “I want my mom.” I hadn’t had that for ten years.

I was very jealous of my wife and her mom’s relationship. I would make fun of her for it. In reality, I wanted that same thing. I had something and I call it hope. I haven’t had that for a long time. I had previously eight months earlier. I have been introduced to meetings and a program. I knew where to go. I went to the beginning the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous up in Marin County, California. I jumped right in. I got a sponsor. I did everything they said. I would recommend this to people that have struggled trying to get clean. What I did at first was I did VIVITROL, a 30-day opiate blocker. I did 60 days of it along with some therapy and drug counseling. It gave me confidence. VIVITROL is a 30-day time release injection in the muscle on your butt. It blocked your opioid receptors so that you can get high if you wanted to. I’ve heard people trying but I’ve also heard people say it works really well. I didn’t have to find out for myself. They wanted me to take it for a year.

SOA 30 | Heroin
Heroin: If you love her, you got to let her go.


The hope that I’ve gotten, the clear-headedness I didn’t want people giving credit to something else. They are like, “It’s a good thing you did VIVITROL.” I would say, “It’s a good thing I did in the beginning but I was doing what I was told by my sponsor and other people in recovery that were staying clean and getting lives worth living.” I stopped taking it against my parent’s advice. I kept getting lots of commitments in Alcoholics Anonymous. I want to jump back to at this time my wife. She was very relieved I was in a safe place, but she didn’t have to worry about me. In my mind I’m like, “I’m going to fix this. I’m going to save it.” I was in denial about how far gone she was. She wanted me to come to sign divorce papers. I didn’t do it for a while. It was hard for me. I want people to know they can stay clean through absolutely everything.

It’s a weird Higher Power thing. I like music and it was weird because I didn’t listen to any new music. I didn’t even know what a smartphone was. I had this thing called Pandora. You put in one artist you like. I played this song, You Only Love Her If You Let Her Go. I don’t remember who did it. I’m looking for meaning in life at this point in my life. If I love her, I’ve got to let it go. Then immediately after it comes on, a Jack Johnson song that we danced to our wedding, Better Together, and that was my sign that I had to try and make things work. I had to not sign those papers and give up because I had never felt this before. I never felt the hope that I can stay clean and change my life. It’s weird when I say I look for things. If those songs would have come on in reverse order, I may have went the other way, our song and then that song.

Even if you lose someone, your life can be brought back to you by staying and doing the next great thing. Click To Tweet

I rushed down to Santa Cruz. It’s about an hour and ten minutes away from where I was at. I had to get some clothes and some other things. She was wearing makeup. She’s an all-natural girl who doesn’t wear a lot of makeup. I looked at her. I was like, “You’re beautiful. What do you need makeup for? Why do you need that for?” She started crying. I knew it right away. I was like, “Are you seeing somebody?” We had talked about it and we were going to wait for the divorce to be finalized before we saw other people. Instantly my addict mind jumps in, “I can’t believe you.” Then that recovery voice that I was slowly starting to learn that, “I was cheating on her for so long with heroin and drugs and on her heart and not being able to be there for her emotionally.” She was emotionally lonely for so long. I told her, “It is okay. I love you and I’m not signing these papers. This is totally way out of my character.” She says that was the first time she had seen the changed me, “He’s not flipping out.” I got on my car and drove immediately out of Santa Cruz where I was used to using. I called my sponsor. I lost it then. I was crying and then a powerful song comes on the radio. I can get through this and I stopped crying. Then a sad song comes on, it was on country station. Then I’m bawling like a little girl.

In the beginning of the story I said, “You can make it through anything.” To me, that was the most painful thing I ever felt. Calling my sponsor and him telling me, “This will pass. If you go use drugs or alcohol, you will only make it worse.” I believed them. I kept going to meetings. I worked the steps through it. She had seen that change in me too. I still didn’t want to give up. I got a job. I started giving her money. I had never done that. In the ten years of being addicted and living with her, I’d give her a few bucks here. The paychecks always disappear and not make it home with me. I’m sending her money. I’m giving her money and paying bills.

What work were you doing?

Any construction work I could do. Most jobs before using were stuff I’d get paid for at the end of the day. Somehow during that ten years, I had went to an electrical trade school and I was able to graduate through cheating. Even though I was out through half the class. I’m a smart person, just fully hindered by my addiction. I took the world up on what I got and I went to a company in San Jose called Sunrun Solar Company and I applied. They hired me as a ground level installer. I worked my butt off in four months and then another six months after that. It’s by showing up the things I learned and through the program, through having commitments. I showed up every time fifteen minutes earlier, you don’t want to be the first one to leave. I had a job and I had insurance through my job that I could put my kids and her on. Not just my kids because she was divorcing me still, I ended up telling her I can’t keep dragging her along. I have to let her go. I told her, “I will sign those divorce papers for you only after you let me take you out on one last date, and if you don’t feel something or want to change after that, then I’ll sign the papers for you.” In my mind, I don’t think I was going to sign these papers. I was so convinced that it was going to work. That I was going to do something.

I planned the most amazing date. I got StubHub on my phone. You’ve got to think I’d never had a credit card or a debit card or a smartphone. I was never able to do these things. Life was so new. It was like being a little kid and exploring nature. I got these tickets to this awesome show. We used to go to a bunch of raves, electronic music shows back in the day before we were married and before my heroin addiction. I found this new artist and they were playing at the Berkeley Greek Theater. I planned this awesome dinner and picnic. It was like the most amazing thing ever. When we got back, I dropped her off. I turned my eyes in the room and said, “What do you want to do?” Every inch of her body was telling her not to. I’d let her down so many times. I had given that promise I am going to do what it takes. I’ve changed. I’m not using. I let her down so many times. Something in her seems to change that I had felt in myself. She said, “We can hold off on signing the papers. I definitely see that change, but you need to move back to Santa Cruz and stay clean for a period of time before I know and I see it’s real.”

If you stay clean, life shows up and it gets busy. Click To Tweet

In the program, they tell you if you’re fully geographic, you are likely to find the same thing. To her, she didn’t know that little saying. She thought because I was in a protected area somewhere else. There are dope everywhere right next to San Francisco. I could have got it if I wanted it. I was like, “Whatever you want.” That’s when I called a friend in Narcotics Anonymous and told them I need to get into a sober living environment in Santa Cruz. That’s how I got introduced to The Gault House. I talked to Frankie, the manager here. She got me in immediately. Since I had eight months at that time, she was very lenient. When you first move into a sober living environment, a strict curfew and about your job. I already had all that and I had people in the program. She was very lenient with me and having my family and I got to go see them. I definitely can give credit to this house.

What was it like getting back into your wife’s life and likewise? What about getting back into your kid’s lives?

It was a hard thing at first because my wife and I had to tell them about we’re getting divorced. We held it off so long I ignored that we’re getting divorced and I ignored about the kids. I still felt that there was a chance. I didn’t want to admit it to them that it was over for sure. I can’t even explain what it was like to be a father. It came so quick and natural. I had patience for them. They took me back like I was never gone. There was something different. I can’t explain it but they responded to me much differently. Kids are very intuitive. They definitely realize mom and dad are fighting. You’re a king or a God to them. You are dad and you are mom and you trust them no matter what. I broke that trust with them without them knowing. Getting back in their lives has been an amazing thing. I’m currently at a spot where I had never imagined being. I lived at The Gault House for a while and she let me move back in.

I kept paying bills and I kept showing up and I had to explain to them my recovery. Especially in early recovery has been intense and 100%. In recovery, the first thing you put in your recovery is the first thing you’ll lose. I don’t want to risk this gift that I’d been given recently that I thought I would never have. Three or four months later, I planned an amazing 10th wedding anniversary to Hawaii. We went to Hawaii on our honeymoon. I paid for it. I didn’t take her on one trip ten years after that. I secretly talked to her mom, which is almost the biggest deal that I’ve been able to get their trust back. I asked her mom, she worked for her mom, “Can she have these ten days off? I’m taking her to Hawaii for our tenth wedding anniversary.” We went. I told her two weeks before. She’s a jeweler. She personally designed a new wedding ring for me because I was an addict doping trying to get dope at all costs. I definitely got rid of my wedding ring. I pawned it. I’m going to buy it back. I never got the $40 to buy it back from the pawnshop and I lost it.

SOA 30 | Heroin
Heroin: The first thing you put in your recovery is the first thing you’ll lose.


She had made a new one for me and gave it to me when we hit the beach in Hawaii. When we got back from Hawaii, we burn the divorce papers together on the barbecue pit. It’s like the happily ever after story. I realized that a lot of people don’t get that back, that it’s too late. Even if you lose that someone, your life can be brought back to you by staying and doing the next great thing. Currently, I can say that the best thing for me in recovery is to be reliable and honest and people can trust me. I don’t want to be a liar and I didn’t have to lie. My wife told me one day, “I never lied to you. You’re my husband, I never lied to you. You lied to me every day.” That hurt. It’s one of those times I’m never going to lie to her again. If you ever go to your ten-year reunion as an addict, most addicts won’t probably make it. You see these people are doing amazing things with their lives, becoming men. I’m like, “I had missed out on that. I wasn’t a man.” They say you don’t mature when you’re using. It was definitely my story. It was so exciting to start to grow up and be a man at 31 years old. I still do my meetings. I still have a sponsor.

My life is so full busy. Sometimes I joke when I do chairs in AA meetings that, “Sometimes I wish I could go back to rehab.” It’s such a safe place. They’ll feed you three square meals a day. You don’t have to worry about any of the outside life. They’ll wipe your ass for you. I always tell the people, “Take advantage of this,” and I’m like, “I’m stoked to be here. I’m in a safe place. I’m into recovery.” If you stay clean, life shows up and it gets busy. I’m a commercial foreman for an electrical company. I’m about ready to pass my journeyman’s test for electrical. I’m getting ready to buy a house with my wife in Santa Cruz through the help of her parents. To be able to have that trust and that type of life that they see that it’s worth investing and it’s a big deal.

Don't count the days; make the days count. Click To Tweet

The biggest thing for me, my new passion in life is coaching little kids. My son is eight years old. He is a very advanced baseball player. I get to manage his baseball teams. I’m on the board for the Little League. It’s a big part of my life. They say get commitments and get back. I’m not just giving back to my Narcotics Anonymous Program, I’m giving back to the community, which I stole and was not a productive member of for so long. I see a really crazy story. I was coaching this little kid. I reach out and grab his arms. I’m trying to show him how strong a baseball bat. I look over his guy’s dad in there and it’s a cop that had arrested me before. This kid is not listening to me and he goes, “Listen to coach.” He yells it across the field. I thought he recognized me. I looked so different that I don’t think he recognized me.

People trust me with their kids. Coaching is an amazing feeling. Little kids call you coach. When I was in my addiction, I walk down the street and hitting the side of the road. I don’t run a perfect program through Narcotics Anonymous, but the only thing I do is I absolutely do not put stuff in my body. It had changed the way I feel. I’ve got lot of friends that I can call. I’ve never had a real desire to use since I’ve lost it. I thought I would, but I’d keep doing the next right thing. I can say over the last four years I’ve literally been on a perpetual pink cloud. My first sponsor was a short Jewish gangster guy and he says, “You can live on a pink cloud as long as you build yourself a pink elevator.” He taught me how to do that and I do that. I have lots of goals written down. Little ones and big ones, graduate from college. That’s a tedious task and it takes years. You get down to yourself trying to do that and accomplish my goal.

SOA 30 | Heroin
Heroin: “Surrender isn’t a weakness. It is being smart enough to know when you’ve been defeated so that you can live to fight another day.”


He taught me, “Go pay that ticket at the DMV.” Do all these little things that as addicts we would not do. Do the little things and have it be like a planning process. When you do it you feel good about yourself. I’ve literally written multiple pages of goals and I crossed them off and redone it. I didn’t accomplish the goal my entire using. I love sayings. People out there in early recovery say, “Don’t count the days, make the days count.” One of my favorite ones. It hit me in recovery. It’s like day 28, 29, 30. Someone told me, “Stop counting the days, make every day count.” My next saying is, “I live my recovery not by sitting in the rooms of the twelve-step programs and waiting for life to happen to me, I have to actively go out and create a life that’s worth living.” My favorite saying is from Abraham Lincoln that goes, “Good things come to those who wait, but only the things left by those that go out and get it.”

I go out and get life and show up. I help other people. I definitely do not deserve the life that I’ve been given. The person I am now, I deserve what I get. It’s hard to look back on the things that I’ve done and go, “This is what he used to be and this is what he gets now. Why?” I can’t explain why. It’s a tough thing to think about drugs. Seeing friends out there I was like, “Why don’t they even get it?” You want to go out and rescue him and bring him in. I just helped. His mom called me and some other friends that don’t use had called me and asked me to talk to him. I gave them my best pitch. I looked him in the eyes when he won’t look me in the eyes. He was so loaded and so in denial, “Let me help you.” He pulled out of there. In my eyes he needed it. He’s got to be the one that comes into it. People are dying out there. He’s like, “Why not me? I wanted to die.”

What advice would you give for somebody in the in the same situation as your friend who’s maybe considering recovery? It sounds to me you had a lot of motivation to help push you into recovery. Do you think everybody needs that in order to find it? What advice would you give to somebody that’s struggling with the idea?

If you want recovery and you don’t know if it’s going to work, like they say, “Nothing will get worse by trying it.” It’s a hard thing to deal with. When I took that first step of the twelve steps and I fully admitted I was an addict, a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I fought it for so long. I always wanted to believe I was a smart person. I felt like if I surrendered and admitted, I was an addict then that meant I was dumb. Someone gave me a good saying too it said “Surrender isn’t weakness. It is being smart enough to know when you’ve been defeated so that you can live to fight another day.” It’s hard to know. My friend, his mom was supporting him. He was a co-dependent. For me, what happened was as soon as my wife wasn’t loving me anymore, it sent me down to that pit of despair much faster.

Nothing will get worse by trying. Click To Tweet

I feel like I don’t want everyone to have to hit that bottom. I wish I knew what it was that convinced somebody before they get there. I do hear about people that don’t have to hit a very big bottom. That may be their lives were a lot better in the beginning so they don’t have to go as far down. It’s hard to tell. All I can say is go to a meeting. Talk to someone. I didn’t know anything about life so I literally had to find someone that did. I wanted to change. I didn’t know how to get, so I did what I was told. They say do what your sponsor does. Do what they tell you. It’s a hard thing. If you’re thinking about recovery then maybe come to terms that you are an addict and that you need help. You’re not going to get any worse in my opinion by at least trying.

What was your biggest takeaway from all your experiences until now when your using led to your recovery? What was the biggest lesson for yourself?

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. The person I’m becoming and continuously growing into, I feel like everything was a lesson and that it has created who I am. I love who I am now. Maybe things wouldn’t be the same. I had the most amazing kids. Maybe they wouldn’t be the same person if I wasn’t using. Honesty is a big thing. Friends can call me and say, “Help me move.” If I say, “I’m going to be there,” they know I’m going to be there. The biggest lesson I’ve got from recovery is how to be honest and be accountable. Not push everything off and everyone else and not blame the world. I literally love my life and that’s a hard thing to come to terms with sometimes. When I look where I’m at and I see people in recovery and I was there, it’s hard to see that I was there. Sometimes becoming the person I’ve become, I realize it doesn’t happen to everyone that quick.

Sometimes you’ve got more court problems to deal with. You’ve done damage to your loved ones too hard. It’s unfortunate that the people we hurt the most are the people that we love the most. I’d say my favorite thing about recovery is growth. I am constantly growing. I’m not the same person I was a month ago. I’ve learned new things about myself. Growing and becoming a man because for so long I’m not growing. My wife had grown so much over those ten years. I pondered off on it. It was a messed-up feeling like you’re going to be one of those old dudes, “Back in my day, that’s stupid.” My deepest darkest secret was I was listening to Taylor Swift. My daughter left the album in my car and it came on. I left it on. I was rocking out to that open-mindedness. It’s a crazy little thing that I had never experienced before.

That’s a remarkable story, Sterling. I want to thank you for sharing it with us. I want to thank our audience for joining us. To all of you, we wish you to stay sober and be happy. Take care.


About Sterling

SOA 30 | HeroinSterling is 34 years old, married with two children, a boy, and a girl. Sterling works as an electrician in San Jose and Santa Cruz, California.




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