Q: Could you briefly tell us about yourself?
A: I'm 37 years old, I lived in Mahanoy city most of my life. I have one child. A son 13 years old. I have one sibling. A sister that passed away in 2011. I graduated from Mahanoy Area class of 1996. I own and operate a contracting business that was handed down from my father. I've been doing contracting work since I got out of school and been the owner of the business since 2005. I was raised by my father. (Mom and dad divorced when I was 4 years old) Addiction runs in my family. My father is an alcoholic and so was my grandfather. My father was able to get help and now he has 25 years of continuous sobriety.
Q: What was your drug of choice?
A: alcohol from 1993-1999 methamphetamine from 1999-2011 and bath salts (a-pvp) 2012-2014
Q: What is your sobriety date?
A: October 3rd 2014
Q: Looking back, was there a turning point during your active addiction?
A: I always had a "pipe dream" of living life without depending on drugs to get me through the day. There were 2 vacations I went on near the end of my active addiction and they were the vacations from hell. I swore I wouldn't use while on vacation and ended up using more than usual. I knew than that I had to do something about my addiction.
Q: What is a slogan that best expresses your current pint of view in recovery?
A: Keep coming back!!! In the beginning that's what I did. That's how I learned what to do and what not to do. I keep coming back almost every day. And I continue to learn more about me.
Q: What are some daily practices and key aspects in your life that assist you in your recovery? Being honest, having a good relationship with my higher power, helping others, being a good father and never forgetting where I came from.
Q: As a person in recovery, do you have any advice you could offer to someone looking to get clean?
A: Never be afraid of change, once I decided to get clean I found out that I only had to change one thing......everything! It was the best gift I ever gave myself. Be open minded and go to meetings, get a sponsor and work the steps. It's so much easier than chasing your next high.
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: Every addict has a bottom, we have to go to that place to get to this place! Until we find a bottom were comfortable with I don't think anyone or anything can make us choose to recover. My father has been in recovery since 1990. Standing back and letting dig myself to my bottom must have been one of the hardest things he ever did.
Q: Why are projects like "The Skook Recovers" important in this day and age?
A: It shows that recovery works if you work it. Even in Schuyllkill county there are awesome recovery groups. Me personally, I love to read anything on social media that has experience, strength and hope.
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: Recovery has gave me a life I never thought I could have. I'm happy with who I am for the first time in my life. Every single aspect of my life has become better in one way or another. From the relationship with my son, to the relationship with my father and the rest of my family. I take more pride in my work now that I'm sober. Being sober, I was given the opportunity to coach little league. That's huge to me because when I was in active addiction I would show up for my sons games late or leave early and I always missed him play. This year I was one of his little league coaches. I was right there in the dug out or on the field. Recovery reconnected me with god. I make it to church almost every Sunday now.
Q: Anything else you would like to add and/or people you would like to thank? (comments, projects, website, social media)
A: I thank god for this gift of recovery every day, also I would like to thank my sponsor, all the new friends I've made on this journey, my family for having faith in me and a big shout out to my son Chase for being my anchor! He gave my life purpose when I thought there was none. Last but not least, I have to thank my father for being a perfect example for how I should live sober.