WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — People ask me why I am so passionate about telling stories of recovery. My answer is pretty simple: I enjoy hearing and sharing stories that remind me of my personal recovery journey.

I wanted to share a piece of that with you.

My journey with addiction started in childhood.

I was an overweight kid who found peace in oversized portions, using food to fill a metaphoric pothole lined with insecurity.

My parents put me on countless diets that just didn’t work.

The reason behind my need to feed in excess was never clear. It’s a problem that continued through high school and college and opened the door for a new addiction to exacerbate quickly.

I underwent gastric bypass to combat health issues fueled by my food addiction. I was freed of obesity, only to be replaced in another jail, this one guarded by drugs and overseen by warden alcohol.

On paper, my life seemed together. My career was progressing, and I convinced myself I was happy. That lie shattered in a crash I will never forget.

While driving home one morning after a night of partying, I crashed into a tree. I remember regaining consciousness when I heard medics outside say, “I think we have a dead body.”

That night will forever be known as one of my rock bottoms. I drank for another two years before walking through the door to recovery.

From that moment, with the help of a sponsor, the 12-step program and a higher power, my life changed.

My work life got better, and I started to like, and then love, the person I see in the mirror.

Today, I use my story in hopes it helps guide someone out of the dark hole of addiction and onto a bright path of recovery.

Sobriety and recovery are doing more than changing my mind and world; it’s giving me a new life worth living and a life I no longer take for granted.

If you need help with addiction, click here for a list of resources.