Bobby-RoadRecently, I had the opportunity to catch up with a close friend of mine.  We originally met years ago both in the early stages of ‘recovery.’  We attended 12 step meetings daily, hung out with other recovering addicts, went to events and lived in sober living houses. Over time, however, we both fell back into our old ways and relapsed, again faced with the challenge of getting off drugs and getting our lives back on track.  

After she relapsed, she went back to the NA program and has greatly benefited from doing so.  For me however, it was time to look at a different approach.  This was not the first time I had relapsed after a 12 step program and although I did believe I could make it work for myself, there were just too many things I encountered daily (while I was clean) that made life appear bleak and overwhelming.

While I was involved in the 12 step modality, I was very active in the 12 step community. I went to over 150 meetings in the first few months. I did service work for the sober living community I was a part of. I had a sponsor (who I still talk to) and I worked on the steps.  Even while doing all of this, I couldn’t help but remember thinking about all the limitations and restrictions I carried around on a daily basis, all because I had ‘the disease of addiction.’ 

Even though I told myself over and over again this was much better than the life of an active drug addict, there were so many things that weren’t in the cards for me because I had a disease. I remember wanting to complete my education and finish my last year of collegiate football, but the only real feedback I got was “The added stress and workload might give your disease a chance to take over.”   So I didn’t complete.

I remember there were times where I wanted to visit a close friend who might occasionally drink but was told how I shouldn’t do that because my disease might trick me into thinking drinking alcohol was okay.  Whenever I was having a hard time in my day to day life, the suggestion I was usually given to handle whatever problem I was facing was “just admit you’re powerless and your life is unmanageable.”

I had a really hard time believing that.

I was clean but I wasn’t enjoying my life.  There were so many things I couldn’t do, places I couldn’t go, and people I couldn’t interact with and I don’t mean I wanted to go to bars with alcoholics.  I essentially lived my life in fear of anything and everything that might trigger my disease and cause me to use alcohol or drugs.  

I came to believe very strongly that someone who is clean but not enjoying life will not stay clean very long.  This definitely became the case for me. Faced with needing treatment again, I had the option to undergo another 12 step rehabilitation program, or look into something else. Thankfully, I found the Narconon program.

I had so many questions which had never been answered in any other treatment program. Why did my mind always going in a million different directions? Why did I feel different? Why am I never content with anything? 

Having been through multiple programs, and having seen numerous counselors, doctors, therapists, etc. I repeatedly got two answers to the many questions about myself.  

The 12 step drug rehabilitation programs I went to answered all of the questions with “You have the disease of addiction and there is no cure. It doesn’t need to make sense to you.” In hindsight, I don’t blame my former counselors for how they presented this to me because while I experienced addiction first hand, they had only read about it in a book.  And as I said before, I had a really hard time committing to the fact I had a disease I would have my whole life.

The second answer I would get from the doctors and therapists was that I had a condition (ADHD, depression, anxiety, bipolar etc.) for which I would need medication.  Medication which was addictive.  Clearly that did not lead me out of the road of being an addict. So by the time I got to the Narconon program I had exhausted all other options.  I needed answers and clarity.

The Narconon program gave me just that and much more.  I gained a complete understanding of myself, my addiction, and my life.  Where before I was told “You are not responsible for your addiction”, the Narconon program told me I was 100% responsible for my addiction and for everything else in my life.  I was accountable.  And despite the fact I had been an irresponsible, lying, manipulative addict, I KNEW that was true.  It was something I could agree with.  I was RESPONSIBLE.  For all of it.

In the past when I had been faced with a problem to which I was to surrender and admit my powerlessness, today I tackle it head on with the understanding that if I want something done in my life, I am in control of making it happen and responsible for all the effects and consequences of my actions.

I no longer live my life in fear and doubt my decisions and actions.  Because if I make a mistake, it is up to me to fix it.

Last week, I had the honor of attending one of my best friend’s weddings and it was probably one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. Most everyone there and definitely everyone I knew was drinking alcohol or intoxicated. Even though I had used drugs and drank alcohol daily for almost a decade, at no point during that experience was I uncomfortable, afraid, anxious or anything but 100% in control. It fully hit me when driving home from the wedding that I am completely free from the compulsion to drink or use drugs.  

If you have never experienced addiction, that statement may not mean very much to you.  But for someone who woke up every day for 10 years and wanted to stop using but couldn’t, the fact I am where I am today is a miracle. 

The Narconon program worked for me.  I believe in it. I never believed I had a disease and I still don’t.  Doing something I didn’t believe in wasn’t going to help me get better.  When I decided I was going to stop getting high, I also decided I was going to stop walking through life with a crutch and making excuses as to why I wasn’t where I wanted to be.  I made up my mind I was going to take full responsibility for my life.

Ultimately, I’d love to see the day where no one has to experience alcohol or drug addiction.  For that reason, I support any and all methods of getting clean as long as they work for the individual.

I found the Narconon program and it worked for me.  It really comes down to what you believe in and how you want to live your life.  It seems cliché but I will end with a quote I saw on a meme. It read “Addiction is an experience, not an identity.” Today I am glad I can personally attest to this.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact us. If you have tried other methods and they have not worked, I have been in your shoes.  I gave the Narconon program a chance and it saved my life.



As the son of two educators, Bobby’s own goal of becoming a teacher began at the Hampden City/Sydney College in Virginia. Just a few credits shy of reaching his goal, he worked his way to the classrooms of Narconon.  Now a Narconon Course Supervisor, he assist clients as they move through the steps of the Narconon Drug Rehabilitation program.

4 Responses to “Relapse Free Road to Recovery”

  1. Pop says:

    Bob, very well written and all bases covered…It was great to see you last week and hope to see you again soon….Love ya, Pop and Gram

  2. Spencer Ferguson says:

    Congratulations Bobby. I enjoyed reading your story. The cool thing I noticed was your no nonsense approach. It is what is and as simple as some may see it, you understand this basic. Those that don’t often continue to struggle. Good luck!!

  3. Frosty Owens says:

    Adam Z. Showed this to his mother. She cried with JOY. It was so well written. I am so proud of you, and what you are doing to help other people. Keep up the great work and make a difference, one person at a time.

  4. Robin Hall says:

    This blog is well written, honest and touched our hearts. We are very pleased and thankful that Bob is clean and sober and helping others find their way.
    Narconon is a unique, comprehensive program like no other. It has saved my nephew. Contact Narconon and help save someone you love from the perils of addiction.
    Aunt Robin

    “I am so happy and proud of where you are, Bob! Much love, Gram”

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