People living a life of recovery traveled a rocky road to get where they are today. Both addiction and recovery are journeys, while the former a road to the depths of solitude and despair – the latter is one of hope and renewal. Many addicts spend many years alone, struggling to make ends meet and find their next fix. Addiction is a full time job that often calls upon people to do unspeakable things in the name of their disease, but fortunately those who have lived with addiction can and do recover.
Recovering from a substance use disorder is a remarkable experience, one of transformation and new beginnings. While every addict’s story is different in many ways, the reality is that there is an underlying shared experience, recognizable by anyone who has walked the road of addiction. In sharing one’s story addicts can find many similarities, addicts can find comfort in the fact that they are not alone and their heartache is not unique. Through sharing one’s story day in and day out, addicts help other addicts find and stay in recovery.
We would like to take a moment to share with you a remarkable story of recovery, a story that highlights the fact that successful recovery on an individual level is only possible through a communal experience. Those who have worked a program of recovery, achieving sustained sobriety, do not rest on their laurels; instead, they go back and spread the message to those who are new to recovery, helping them find what they were blessed to have found.
Fourteen months ago, a man by the name of Chris Bailey was destitute and struggling with addiction. After hitting rock bottom, his twin brother helped him detox from drugs and alcohol and get him into a month long treatment program. After which, he lived in a sober living home for seven months in Los Angeles. During that time Bailey would sometimes walk 10 miles to attend 12-step meetings. While on those walks, Bailey found the inspiration to walk across the United States sharing his story of addiction and recovery along the way, New Jersey On-Line reports. A project he calls “Step Into Life.”
After more than seven months on the road, he has walked over 3,500 miles. Over the course of Bailey’s travels, he stopped to speak at treatment facilities and high schools.
“For so long, I needed to do something to connect with people, God, and get rid of all the built up stuff I had inside,” Bailey said. “Being alone and honest with myself was hard. I reached a breaking point when I just broke down and was able to play witness to being myself.”
Bailey and his brother started an organization called Hold Space, according to the article. The organization has campaigns aimed at a number of different things, including addiction. Hold Space, says Bailey, is a symbol for the hope and love Bailey’s brother held for him while he was still active in his addiction.
Bailey has plans to continue his journey by touring the country by train, but for the moment he says he “will live for the day.”