Misha’s Story: Staying Connected Makes Life Manageable

“The first time I accessed treatment, I just wasn’t ready,” Misha admits. “If you had asked me, I would have told you I was. But the truth is, I wasn’t in a place where I was fully willing and capable of putting the principles of recovery into place.”

For years, he had used drinking to cope with a myriad of issues and emotions. “I was drinking and using to try and ‘fix’ different issues,” he says. “The stresses of work. Unhealthy relationships. Restlessness. Boredom.”

Ironically, however, substance abuse only exacerbated Misha’s problems. Over time his struggles became more pronounced; he began making mistakes at work, as well as not meeting his personal commitments.

Still, he says, on the surface all appeared well.

“Through everything, I bought a house,” he says, “and I was somehow progressing through life, at least on paper.

But behind the scenes, things were very precarious.  I would go without sleeping or eating for days. I was making good money but not paying my bills.  My priorities were messed up, and I became close to losing everything.  The more responsibilities I had, the more daunting life became.  And the more difficult things became, the more my mental health suffered.”

For many, recovery begins after hitting “rock bottom.”  For Misha, the bottom came in the form of an addiction-related accident: under the influence, he drove a truck through the front of his house.

“That five seconds was a huge wake-up call,” he says.  “Intellectually, I’d known for a long time that I had a problem – but the truth is, I was still drawn to alcohol when things got to a certain point of emotional unmanageability.” The accident, however, brought a silver lining: at last, he was ready to fully commit to recovery.

It’s taken tremendous effort and a few setbacks, but today Misha’s commitment to recovery is what makes his life manageable.  He’s successfully self-employed, in a healthy relationship, spiritually connected and meeting his financial and personal obligations.

Key to staying on track, he says, is his attendance at local 12-step meetings.

“For me, getting sober is never hard,” he reflects, “but staying sober is.  To maintain your recovery, it’s essential that you stay connected to the recovery community.  I attend more meetings now than I ever have.  I don’t isolate myself anymore, and I’m of service to others.  I’m learning about and working on myself every day.”

When asked what advice he’d give others who are struggling, Misha’s answer is simple.

“Addiction only gets worse,” he says.  “If you’re going to keep using, don’t toy with the idea that things will get better on their own.

However, there is a solution, and there are people who will help. Recovery isn’t easy, but seeking help isn’t complicated.   Don’t overcomplicate it.  Reach out, do the work, get connected.

I did, and I have a life I couldn’t even have imagined ten years ago.”

About the Authors

Renascent Staff
The staff at Renascent is passionate about helping people with substance addictions so they can reach their full recovery – with compassion, respect, empathy and understanding. Our staff includes our counsellors, all of whom have lived experience of addiction and recovery.