Evan, your optimistic and open minded attitude is very important and apparent. We see that you are working on your recovery and that you are not afraid to ask for experience, strength and hope. We will always be here to love, encourage and support you through your journey. God Bless you man!
Q: Could you briefly tell us about yourself?
A. Hey, I'm Evan Samuels, I'm from Valley View, PA. I started using when I was about 14 or 15. At first it was just prescription stimulants like adderall and ritalin. I would buy them buy the bottles and this continued right through high school. When I was 17 I tried crystal meth for the first time. It made me feel like nothing could affect me...nothing could bother me. Come to find out, I was completely wrong. I was a heavy user, I would constantly use until it wouldn't even affect me anymore. Every thing I was doing for 3 years prior to my recovery - was just to get money for more meth. If I didn't have any, I couldn't do anything. I would even call off work.
Q: What was your drug of choice?
A. Crystal Meth
Q: What is your sobriety date?
Q: Looking back, was there a turning point during your active addiction?
A. The biggest turning point was on March 25th when I thought I was going to die. This was the last day of my longest run. The pain, was the worst ever felt. I didn't eat in weeks and I barely would drink anything except 3 energy drinks a day. I was taken to the hospital because my body started to shut down from malnutrition and dehydration. I weighed 135 pounds before that I was 183 pounds. I was a mess at the hospital. I had extreme Psychosis with vivid hallucinations. A state trooper came and talked to me and pointed me to White Deere Run- Blue Mountain. Other things that added to the turning point was the countless times coming down from the binges. The depression was horrible.
Q: What is a slogan that best expresses your current point of view in recovery?
A. One day at a time. this means the most to me I can't tell the future but I'm trying my hardest.
Q: What are some daily practices and key aspects in your life that assist you in your recovery?
A. I've been listening to a lot of music, going to the shooting range and riding quads. Also I recently started meditation to keep my mind in a safe place.
Q: As a person in recovery, do you have any advice you could offer to someone looking to get clean?
A. It's hard to get clean you need to really want it. It took me a few tries, but don't let any substance control your life. I'm actually happy now, especially without any substances in my life. Reach out to somebody. If you look around, there is always somebody to encourage you. Every addict has somebody that loves them even if they don't know it. Just reach out to people they will be there for you.
Q: Addiction is affecting hundreds in Schuylkill County and abroad. It's very saddening. Any advice to people trying to help their loved ones to seek help?
A. Just be caring you cant be there screaming at them. It will just make them feel like worse. Talk to them like they are a normal human being. Let them know you care and they can do so much better then getting high or drunk.
Q: Why are projects like "The Skook Recovers" important in this day and age?
A. These projects are so important to get a open network of people in recovery. Even just to be able to talk to each other and give each other the love, support and encouragement we need. Also to raise awareness of the disease that is plaguing Schuylkill county.
Q: Could you tell us about the good things that your new life in recovery has brought to you and/or improved, including what you are grateful for?
A. Real happiness and sober friends. I have a relationship with my family again. I'm really grateful for still being alive sober and still having a loving family and friends.
Q: Anything else you would like to add and/or people you would like to thank? (comments, projects, websites, social media)
•Beau Yarmush and Trooper Rymarkiewicz, thanks for the support, it means a lot.
•White Deer Run Blue Mountain for giving me a foundation I needed
• Cody my counselor
• Hegins Area Ambulance