April Alumni Spotlight – Brian G
I was born in Denver Colorado. I always had an affinity for outdoor sports and athletics. Growing up I felt like I never fit in anywhere but sports. When I turned fifteen I found drugs. Then I really felt like I fit in! Drugs were my way to escape. I didn’t have to worry about failing out of high school or being sent to an alternative school so I could graduate on time. When I moved to Steamboat Springs to go to college, it was my tiny window of sanity before my ultimate downfall. I was able to ski and have fun with some like minded people and attend classes sporadically. I couldn’t stay in one place for very long so I moved to Denver and attempted to help out with the family business of building and installing custom wine cellars. Over the course of moving there I fell in with the wrong influences and found heroin. I lasted about three years until I was intervened on by my family after getting caught siphoning money out of the family business. They found Jaywalker Lodge. The friends I made there were and are still some of my closest friends. I had the time of my life there. What I wasn’t ready for was the amount of work sobriety took. I skimmed thru the steps and didn’t move forward in life post Jaywalker. I made it about 11 months and relapsed on heroin. On my last day on heroin, my roommate found me non-responsive in my room. I remember getting intervened on by my counselors Dan, Lois, and some friends telling me I needed to go back to Jaywalker. I refused and stayed back out for 9 months. It took two more overdoses that were 12 hours apart in Denver for me to submit again to going back. 12/16/10 is my sobriety date.
When I came to jaywalker for a final intervention Lois said if I didn’t check in somewhere I was going to die, I believed her. I checked in that day. I got lucky. The next day we went skiing in 17 inches of fresh powder. I remember feeling awful skiing that day but was fighting for my life. But one of my best friends bought me a slice of pizza and a vitamin water which made me feel better…I threw it up about thirty minutes later because I was detoxing so bad but I felt better. Emotionally. I was terrified were my disease took me. The friends who I made the first time all asked me “you need to find out why you are getting sober.” I thought about it the whole time I was there. Jaywalker showed me how to have fun in sobriety. But what I was mainly grateful for, was how jaywalker showed me how powerless and unmanageable my life was in my active addiction. I did a lot of step one assignments that I presented to my group and got more doses of humility than I was expecting.
The biggest struggle I encountered was at about 2 and a half years sober. I decided to move to California for a new job as a case manager at an amazing treatment program. Two weeks before I left, I lost my dad to suicide. I was devastated. So in the span of one month I moved in with my girlfriend at the time in California, lost my dad and started a new job. Not to mention trying to make new friends in an AA community I was unfamiliar with. I quickly made friends that reminded me of the ones in Carbondale. It was a struggle but I relied on my 12 step program to get through it. About six months ago I decided to carry on my fathers legacy by opening up a sober living in his honor. When I was getting sober and giving my dad positive updates about my life he would always tell me to “Stay The Course” so that’s what I called my sober living. Now I have two homes in Orange County. My life is full of joy, friends, family, fun and a higher power I can pray too. These are the reasons why I stay and am sober today. I love the life I live today. Jaywalker and Carbondale will always be home.