They told me that drugs were dangerous. They told me that drinking every night would kill me. They told me just one more time could be the end. They told me not to do this. They told me not to do that. They told me I had to make a choice.
in 2009, a gentlemen from Clifton, NJ told me that recovery could save my life. He told me if I wanted something I’ve never had I would have to be willing to do something I have never done. I followed through on that advice roughly 5 years later. I got on an airplane, went to Florida, completed treatment, moved into sober living & I am now 27 years old, live in Texas & work for quite possibly the greatest place in the recovery field. My boss is a childhood friend & his boss is the reason I gave this recovery one last chance. How is that for a story book ending, right?
Wrong. the story isn’t over.
I have a backpack, my laptop, a bottle of water & 2 sets of headphones because for some apple wanted to make everything more difficult with their new Iphone.
Im traveling to Houston, Texas. On the opposite end of this greyhound journey I will find a mother who reached out like hundred of mothers have done this year alone.
Over a week ago I asked the women of Facebook for help. I needed letters of hope written to a girl named Mattie, a 26 year old girl locked up in county jail, in Houston, Texas.
The number of people that reached out for her address climbed rapidly. 25 people within a few minutes, 100 within a few hours & now a total number somewhere over 400. There was literally no significance to the number of letters written at first glance until I took a step back.
Mattie is part of a generation, that I am a part of as well, that is notorious for not getting things right the first time. Our generation that entitled, arrogant & the perfect definition of self-will run riot.
So why did I think so many letters is significant after taking a step back?
hundreds of different people writing letters meant that she would hear hundred of messages about how people found life chasing death.
I am delivering my letter in person. Again, I have been inside of detoxes, rehabs & jails in active addiction as well as in recovery. This though, I have never done. I have never traveled to a jail to visit a person I have never met before.
I often get asked what I do for a living. I almost never have the correct answer in my mind. Writing & posting this hours before my bosses get a chance to read it I can already tell you what their answer will be. I am speaking for others who aren’t capable of speaking up yet. I am hoping to say just one thing that will allow someone to get out of their own way & find recovery.
So here it goes.
We have never met before, we haven’t spoken & I do not expect you to care about anything I am saying. My name is William. I am 27 years old & have been in recovery for over 3 years. I live in Fort Worth, Texas. I had a great family, good upbringing & incredible education. I had plenty of friends, was a good athlete & involved in the community. I started drinking from a red solo cup, smoked a blunt & spiraled out of control until I landed at the last house on the block which was a long term treatment center in Florida. Their treatment plan was simple, they kept you as many days as they thought necessary. Thankfully, the clinical director resigned after a few months into my stay or I am sure they would still be holding me there. I completed treatment, moved into sober living, moved to South Carolina & then finally landed in Texas. I learned a valuable lesson somewhere in the mist of chaos though. Everywhere I went, there I was. I had plans to be in Houston next weekend for a few days yet I felt it ever so pressing to tell you this right here, right now. Everything you ever wanted for a life beyond your wildest dreams is sitting on the opposite side of fear.
I know that all seems so boring. I also know that complete strangers are capable of making more of an impact than anyone else currently in your life. Your mom told me you are beautiful, caring, loving & above all else, creative. I am not writing you this letter today to tell you that I think you are all of those things because honestly, I know nothing about you. I am writing you this letter because every single person in this world has the desire to know they are not alone. You are no longer alone. I am not going anywhere.
Mattie, whether you believe me or not, I care about the person you are & the person I believe that you can be. I hope that you will see how much support you have and while I can’t vouch for everyone, you have a life long friend in me.
I’ve struggled to finish my thoughts on the opposite side of this letter because I was unsure what I needed to say. Since returning back to Fort Worth, I posted a status that created more than enough controversy, I did a video that had more emotion than ever before & I learned that hope carries way further than I had ever expected. This the first blog I am writing where I understand that it has already helped one person. Mattie has made more of an impact on me than I will ever make on her. I am grateful to be a part of her journey. When she is released in 12 days she will have a handful of letters. She will know to hold on, pain ends. HOPE was the only thing she ever needed.
Hold On, Pain Ends.
I normally ask for everyone to share this message in hopes that it will reach just one person. While I encourage that as well, I hope that you will take the time to leave a comment for Mattie to read in a few short days. It takes a village to raise a child & she needs us more than we will ever know 12 days from now.
Reach out! It can save someone’s life!