Sober Story: Jake

guy in the dark smoking

This week's Sober Story comes from Jake, a 29-year-old living in the mountains of North Carolina.

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Mrs D: How long have you been sober.

Jake: I came to Asheville to get sober which now seems like a lifetime ago. I have been in recovery for almost six years. Getting clean was by far the best decision I have ever made. Deciding to reach out for help was one of the hardest things I have ever done and I truly had to hit rock bottom before doing so.

Mrs D: What can you tell us about the last months/years of your drinking before you gave up?

Jake: The months leading up to me going to treatment consisted of some of the most depressing times of my life including a series of bad decisions being made. I started to get involved in crime and hard drug use.

Mrs D: What was the final straw that led you to get sober?

Jake: I eventually got arrested which was the straw that broke the camel's back. At that moment, I knew that I could not keep going on like I was. I would end up in jail for a long time, or even worse dead. I made the decision to go to detox, cleanse my body, and then head straight to a treatment center.

Mrs D: How was it for you in the early days?

Jake: Early on, it was difficult. I had never been to detox before, or a treatment center for that matter. It was all new to me. Having to learn about myself, address the underlying issues, and leaving my old life behind were difficult tasks.

Mrs D: What reaction did you get from family & friends when you started getting sober?

Jake: My family was extremely happy that I decided to get help and were there for support every step of the way. I had put them through so much over the years and for them not to give up on me is something I will be grateful for forever.

Mrs D: Have you ever experienced a relapse?

Jake: After getting clean for about 3 months, I experienced my one and only relapse. At the time I thought it was the end of the world but in hindsight, I am actually glad it happened. I feel like when most people get sober, having a relapse tends to happen at some point. I was glad that I got mine out of the way and just put it all behind me.

Mrs D: How hard was it getting used to socialising sober?

Jake: Another problem I had to solve was how to still have fun, but do it sober. For so long I used drinking as a way to interact with other people and to have a good time. The best way I learned to interact with people without having a drink was just putting myself out there and trying new things. This could include playing sports, finding a hobby, or meeting people at AA meetings and just getting to know them. Having to socialize sober can feel a little funny at first, but once you get in the swing of things and realize that millions of people do it every day, it's not too bad.

Mrs D: How did your life change?

Jake: So one of the things I heard people talk about when I was early on in recovery was that good things will start to happen in your life once you get clean. I can say that this is 100% true. When I got clean, I made a new set of friends. People that genuinely cared about me and were there for me.

Mrs D: What are the main benefits that emerged for you from getting sober?

Jake: After about a year of working a mediocre job just to pay the bills, I ended up going back to school and getting offered a job as an SEO specialist here at Oasis Recovery, the same treatment center I came to all that time ago to get clean. My life is so fulfilling now because I get to help people every day and share my story. Getting sober allowed me to find myself and get to know the real me. I was lost for such a long time and felt I was just living in someone else's body, which I'm sure a lot of people can relate to. I realized that there is so much more to life than being depressed and slowly killing myself with alcohol.

Mrs D: Would you do anything differently given the chance to go through the process again?

Jake: Looking back, the only thing I would change about this whole journey would have to be I wish I would have gone to treatment sooner. Other than that, I would not change anything about my life right now. I am truly blessed and I know that if I can do it, anybody reading this can.

Mrs D: What advice or tips would you have for those who are just starting on this journey?

Jake: When you decide you want to get clean, don't hesitate to reach out for help. There is such a strong recovery community all around the world no matter where you are located. Being open to the process and trying new things is very important. If you are reading this, I know that getting clean is one of the hardest things you will ever do in your lifetime. Don't ever give up though, being sober is such a rewarding feeling and once you do it, share your story and you can possibly help the next person.

9 Comments
  1. IslandOne 19 hours ago

    I love this story Jake. You had a brush with the law and I hope that somewhere, a police officer or a Judge reads your story before deciding whether or not to give an addict accused of a crime a chance of rehab vs. incarceration.

  2. Heather 4 weeks ago

    Thanks for your story Jake it is so awesome how you are doing I am in a sober living right now for the second time and I love it and the people I’m with keep up the good work

  3. Gran65 1 month ago

    I have the greatest admiration for you, Jake. I am 2 months sober myself. Alcohol has always been my favourite go to, and interestingly. I have never taken drugs. Deep down, I knew I was an addictive personality and taking drugs would not ever be something I could manage, so I didn’t dare. Why I thought I could manage alcohol I don’t know. I have given up drinking several times, from 1 week to 5 months, but always fell off the wagon. ( I did give up smoking, however – 40 cigarettes a day! I looked grey, my chest hurt and I coughed a lot. If I can give up ciggies I can give up anything I thought. I finally gave up smoking 30 years ago after 2 long periods of abstinence in my 20s and early 30s.) I really am taking one day at a time and don’t expect to stay sober, but I am trying…..

  4. Tween1967 1 month ago

    Great story of hope, Jake! I’m at day 15 and this time I just decided I didn’t want to drink anymore. It feels different 🙂 and I want to stay sober… Always good to hear a grateful recovery story. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Starlight 1 month ago

    Jake, thank you for sharing your story. So inspiring. Especially about your relapse. Very relatable for me. Your words to never give up and living sober being so rewarding are the truest words ever spoken.

  6. JR 1 month ago

    Beautiful story…thank you for sharing! So much in front of you and you are hear to live it.

  7. SugarBelly 1 month ago

    Thanks for sharing, Jake. So great that you were able to get sober at such a young age and will realize a life full of sobriety for many years to come. Enjoy your time in Asheville. Best.

  8. reena 1 month ago

    Thanks Jake for sharing your journey with us. It’s inspirational to hear where you came from and where you are now. Best of everything to you in your new life!

  9. stefygraff 1 month ago

    Hey,

    This story is so inspirational with all the Question answers.

    Thanks for sharing how you change your life in sober living.

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