Michael Waggoner's storyLast Updated: Tuesday, April 6, 2021
I was an only child, the nerdy kid growing up, and didn’t really feel as if I fit in with anyone specific group of people. I wanted to be accepted, so I started hanging out with the cool kids and partying. It just kind of took off from there. It went from an occasional thing to every chance kinda thing. I went from smoking weed, to smoking weed and drinking, to doing anything I could get my hands on. I found freedom in getting high and for the first time in my life, I was comfortable.
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As things progressed with time, I became addicted and fell in love with opiates. I started using Oxycontin in 2009 which eventually led to me using heroin. My addiction to heroin took priority over everything I did in life. I died a total of 15 times due to drug overdose. One would think that overdosing time and time again would give someone the desire to get clean. In reality, I wanted to die. I absolutely hated the person that I had become as a result of my addiction to drugs and alcohol.
I’ve been arrested numerous times for multiple DUIs, shoplifting, petit larceny, possession, driving on revoked for DUI, and harboring a fugitive from justice. I was on a total path of destruction. I have been in a total of 7 treatment programs and multiple detox centers. Trying over and over to put my life back together.
In April of 2019, I went back to jail on a home confinement violation because I was getting high in another program and I was just tired. For the first time in my life, I felt completely defeated. So, when I went in in April, I surrendered and turned to God for help. I was ready for a different direction in life and was tired of doing the same thing over and over. I was tired of hurting people, hurting family, and not being able to be a dad because addiction ran my life. I decided at that point that if I was given another opportunity to try to put my life back together that I was going to take it and run with it.
I did about 130 days in jail and was given yet another opportunity to change my life. I entered a long term treatment program with Recovery Point and began my journey in changing my life. Today I have over 9 months completely substance-free. Everything changed for me this time around, I had the gift of desperation and was willing to do whatever was asked of me in order to achieve long term sobriety. I remember laying in jail, praying for God to help me, and absolutely willing to do whatever it took for a new direction in life. Instead of viewing it as a consequence, I viewed it as an opportunity.
TODAY: I have been given my life back. I am rebuilding relationships with my family. I am rebuilding trust. I am able to be a dad today and a positive influence in my son’s life. I continue to work towards cleaning up the wreckage of my past. I’m a Recovery Coach and can be a point of light in a world of darkness and watch others transform as they find their purpose in life.
There is a way out. It is not easy, but at the end of the day, it is worth it. There is a lot more to living life than to get up and to worry about putting the next one in you. No matter what, at the end of the day, the reality is still there. It is something that you have to face. It is just a matter of trying to reach out for help and get guidance on how to face it. There is freedom in the fact that you can wake up every day with a clear conscience that you did not deliberately harm somebody the day before for selfish benefit. Today, I strive to be a light of hope and have the ability to share my own personal experience with others in hopes of leading others towards a better way of life.