After my last run with opiates I ended up in the ICU. My kidneys, liver, and heart were all shutting down and the medical staff all told me I was lucky to alive. I had suffered major nerve damage in my right hand and leg. I was told that the feeling may never return and that it could possibly get worse. While laying in the hospital I had come to the harsh realization that if I don’t quit, I will die. Even though I didn’t feel worthy of God’s love at the time, I prayed for strength and wisdom to know how to handle my addiction that had completely consumed every part of me. I told him that this was bigger than me and its too much for me to carry right now. I felt the weight lifted almost instantaneously and for once in my life I could finally see light at the end of the tunnel. I could feel his love and I could hear my family all cheering me on. A good friend once told me “God has all these wonderful blessings that he wants to give us, but it’s all contingent on us asking for it”
Once I had got out of the hospital, I decided that If I don’t change nothing will change. I continued to pray for help and I feel that my prayers were answered through someone else’s prayers. My oldest sister had been praying for me constantly and looking for a way to help me. While she was at the gym, another lady could see that she was visibly upset and started inquiring about her feelings. She began to tell her about me and told her of the struggle that I had with my addiction. This is when she found out about WAR. The next day my sister and her husband took me to meet Dustin. I learned what WAR was all about and how they had helped addicts like me find a new way of life through exercise, hard work, and discipline. I was skeptical about this concept at first but I feel that it was an answer to my prayers. At this moment in my life I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I started this program the very next day and as I began to meet other addicts, I could see the light in their eyes that they had found through WAR. I have tried traditional rehab programs and I think that they are great for helping you find out why you do the destructive things that you do, but WAR is phenomenal at helping you realize what you are capable of. As an addict, I don’t have an off switch and until I started WAR I didn’t know how to channel that energy into something positive.
Through this new approach to addiction and the lifestyle that it has helped me to create for myself, I have found that my overall well-being has tremendously improved. I have learned that food can be the most powerful form of medicine that I put in my body, or the slowest form of poison. Eating right not only helps me perform better in the gym, but it helps me perform better at life. When you are eating right, you think more clearly, sleep more soundly, and have more energy throughout the day. Those are things that I used to think drugs helped me with. I have also found that I have more patience with everyday life. I have more energy to play with my son and spend time with my wife. I am sore at the end of the day because I worked hard, not sore because I laid around all day. I have more motivation and drive than I ever had while using drugs and my confidence has gone through the roof. I am no longer ashamed of who I was, but proud of the person I am becoming. I don’t beat myself up for being an addict, but rather embrace the fact that I am. I am more in touch with my spiritual side that I ever have been and I look forward to being able to share this new lifestyle that I have learned with those addicts who still wallow in despair.
When I first started the WAR program 8 weeks ago, I was in dire straights. I felt like I was breathing through a straw during most of the exercises. I could barely do 15 push-ups without having to rest, I couldn’t do more than two pull ups, and because of nerve damage in my hand I couldn’t even catch a wall ball. I didn’t know how to do a Low Bar Squat and my posture was horrible. I had a very hard time holding onto a lot of the weights, but through the motivation of the Life Coaches that I work with, I have found the strength to push past my physical limitations and persevere. Since I started 8 weeks ago, my Low Bar and Front Squat has gone from 85 pounds to 175 pounds and seems to increase by twenty pounds every week. My Bench Press has gone from 105 pounds to 170 pounds and that seems to increase by at least ten pounds every week. This is the part that is addicting for me, seeing the progress that you make everyday and the new found high that I feel after a hard workout. Not only do I feel that way after working out, but I get that same sort of high when people compliment me on how healthy I look. These are not instant results but they can be lasting if you work towards them. This is something that drugs have never been able to do for me.
If you are someone like me that struggles with addiction and you have tried traditional rehab facilities, I challenge you to take the approach that I have. I wish I would have found this sooner in my addiction because it has provided me with a new way to live and appreciate life. When you have to work hard for something you appreciate it more than those things that are instantaneous, like drugs or alcohol. WAR will teach you how to live sober and be happy while doing it. It will challenge your body, mind, and spirit to do things that you never dreamed were possible. If I could give suffering addicts a small glimpse of what I feel right now, I know that they would turn their addictions over to this new way of life. Don’t get lost in your addiction, come find yourself in WAR.