My name is A.J. and I’m an addict in recovery. I’m 33 now, and I was stuck in active addiction for almost 20 years. I’ve been to over 100 institutions, jail, I’ve overdosed 37 times, and for the last few years of my active addiction I was homeless without a place to go. My whole life’s purpose was to just find the next one, and the next one never being good enough. The last time I entered treatment I was 6’1” and I weighed in at 138 lbs. The state didn’t deem me fit to drive, own a vehicle, or fit to be a parent.
Gosnold was the last facility I went through before I got clean and sober. Not only was it the last facility, but they also admitted me at least 40 times through their programs. This place never gave up on me. Gosnold always believed that it would be possible under any circumstance for me to eventually get and stay clean. The staff here has housed me, fed me, clothed me, and cared for me better than some of my closest family members were able to. Beyond the materialistic things they provided me with, they gave me with a sense of security. Gosnold and their patient care was bar none. One of the greatest things they did for me was instill a sense of what recovery was and how it worked. Not only in the staff’s lives, but how it could work in my life and how I could accomplish it. They showed me that recovery works, how it works, and what an amazing thing it is.
All those things I had lost during my active addiction, I gained back in my recovery. I got my license back, my health, and a car. I’ve become a working-class citizen and a pillar in the recovery community I landed in. I am fully self-supporting and respected by all the people that surround me. I finally learned what it means to love myself and my life. Most important of all, I gained the ability to be a father again to my 3 beautiful children. I learned how to show up on time for them, and to be there when I say I’m going to be. I learned how to provide and love them how a father should love their children. I am there to lead by example and teach them a lot of the things I didn’t get to learn while I was growing up.
After 2 years of staying clean one day at a time, I work at the same facility that built me up and gave me what tools I needed to stay clean. I started as a Recovery Aide, working my way up to lead RA and eventually to the Group Counselor at the Gosnold Treatment Center, the ATS Detox. I have become one of the people that inspired me to stay clean and that remains the magic of this place. I assure patients all the time that it is possible for anyone at any given time to stop using and find a new way to live, no matter what the circumstances are. It is a gift to show each patient the respect and love that was given to me when I was a patient here. I love my job, I love Gosnold, and I love the patient centered care we offer here. I want to thank Gosnold for giving me a new life.