I remember my first day after prison like it was yesterday. I was so excited to get back out into society, to replace my old addictions with healthier new ones. I had just received a new job opportunity selling perfume and really believed I was able to lead a normal life again.
After years of abusing drugs and lying to my loved ones, you would figure that I was ready for a change. Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way that the path to recovery is not smooth & paved. It’s a rough and rocky gravel road with twists and turns at every corner.
At first, I was quite successful with my new sales job. I was grinding hard, learning all of the subtleties of making the sale while earning some solid money in the process. I soon became obsessed with success, so much so that it led to a relapse. The stress and pressure I was placing on myself by setting unrealistic standards led to my downfall. I realized quickly that replacing one addiction with another was not the solution for my sobriety. I determined that I would need to make dramatic changes in my life, truly earn my sobriety, and surround myself with positive habits and people in order to survive my addictions. I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you how I did it in hopes that my story can help you with your own addiction struggles.
Flashback to the year 1993. I am 5 years old and making the move from Bogota, Colombia to sunny Southern California with my family. I was born in Bogota, but my parents decided to uproot our family and move to California due to the violence and uncertainty present in Colombia at the time. A world of opportunity had been opened for my brother and me, and I am eternally grateful to my parents.
Growing up in a Colombian family provided a near perfect childhood. The concept of family is extremely important to us, and we always enjoy getting together and spending time with one another. Family gatherings are a way of life. I can clearly remember Aguardiente, the alcoholic beverage of choice in Colombia, being a mainstay at these family gatherings. One night when I was 8 years old, I decided to sneak a few sips of some of the clear liquid that I always saw the adults enjoying at our gatherings. I didn’t necessarily enjoy the taste, but I certainly enjoyed the feeling the…