This is James Kachnoskie. He is out here, in "The Skook," inspiring people and showing us that recovery is possible. "Kash" has embraced his new way of life in a way where he is always challenging himself to achieve new positive goals.
Let's show this man some love, support and encouragement as he continues his "one day at a time" journey in an active life of recovery.
Q. Could you briefly tell us about yourself
A. My name is James Kachnoskie, I'm 34 years old from Shamokin but currently live in Schuylkill Haven. I battled an addiction to alcohol for around 11 years. I was a binge drinker very badly. This caused me many problems with law enforcement. Fighting, assault charges and disorderly conduct - these types of things were common in my life. Also a D.U.I. I didn't really value my life at all during my addiction. I also tried suicide at one point during a drunken haze. I had periods of sobriety mostly very brief. I never felt I had a problem and that I could control it.... but it always controlled me. I finally took back my life in Jan of 2012. That's when life really began
Q. What was your drug of choice?
Q. What is your sobriety date?
A. January of 2012 (unsure of actual date)
Q. Looking back,was there a turning point in your active addiction?
A. Yeah, I can remember hating who I was and the life I was living. I was very unhappy. I had recently stated dating a girl with a 2 year old son and it definitely changed how I viewed myself. I wouldn't want to be that person in front of my own children being drunk all the time and hating life. I knew I had to change my life or I'd never be truly happy.
Q. What is a slogan that best expresses your current point of view in recovery?
A. Something my late mother would say to me one day at a time. Me and my brother still say it to each other "take everything one day at a time."
Q. What are some daily practices and key aspects in your life that assist you in your recovery?
A. The gym, working out, running and finding mixed martial arts. Training jiu-jitsu helped me change my life. Also living in the moments and enjoying life, every aspect of it while building a future with my wife Amy.
Q. As a person in recovery, do you have any advice to offer someone looking to get clean?
A. This is a tough question. If you are looking to get clean, do it for yourself, do it because it will truly make your life better. Being able to admit you have a problem is not a sign of weakness, it is a strength. It takes a big person to admit fault in ourselves. Just know your not alone in this, there are so many that struggle with addiction. And so many who have overcome it.
Q. Addiction is affecting hundreds in Schuylkill county and abroad. It's very saddening. Any advice to people trying to help there loved ones to seek help?
A. You can't help someone who doesn't want to help them self. It's hard to say, but you have to let them hit rock bottom. They have to want the help, if not it may never work. Which is hard to do. We can still be there for them, we just can't enable them but we also can't make them want the help. Addiction is a tricky thing
Q Why are projects like "The Skook Recovers" important in this day and age?
A. I think projects like this are very important to raise awareness, plus it's also shows that people in recovery can do great things and that we don't have to be faceless and name less. We have stories of struggles and that you can overcome these addictions.
Q. Could you tell us about the good things your new life in recovery has brought to you and/or improved,including what you are grateful for?
A. The good things in my life...wow!! Now there are so many of them. First being my wife. Finding the person I was meant to be with.... without being sober I never would have found that. Making my mother proud, she got to see me recover and share in having her son back. Just being able to enjoy life... live a life I can be proud of and be happy and all while being sober. I've inspired others to get sober or make life changes and that's amazing and humbling to me. I've accomplished things like Competing in national jiu-jitsu tournaments and winning medals in these competitions. I get to contribute to this cause! I'm grateful for so many things. My family, My friends all the people who stood by me through all the bad things and got to see me rise from it all....to change my life.
Q. Anything else you would like to add and/or people you would like to thank?
A. I'd like to thank my mother and father, my bothers Micheal and Phil . My best friend Sam Limbert, my wife Amy Betteridge Kachnoskie, my family at Anthracite Combat Club and my boy Travis "The Featherhawk" Snyder for letting me be part of this project and share my story. Thanks to all my friends and my English family Gill,Nigel,and Jack. I love you all of you!