My name is James Hutchison and I Am Not Anonymous. My story is no different than others that have been trapped in addiction, pain, hurts, brokenness, fears and failures. My first alcohol and drug use started when I was 14 years old. Why did it start then: disconnection from family, wanted to connect with friends and others, curiosity and searching for something to make me feel valuable and complete. I used drugs and alcohol throughout my Jr. high, high school and college years. During that time I experimented with anything, searching for connection, peace and value (relationships, sports, music, occult, friends, bars, travel, isolation, etc.)… nothing satisfied! I was raised in a good home with loving parents that taught me right from wrong but I had to find out for myself. Always the hard way! At the age of 21 or 22 I decided it was time to grow up and quit using drugs and alcohol. The grown-up thing to do was to get a real job, get married, buy a home, have kids, attend church, get involved in the community, etc. So for years I did all of those things while carrying all of this baggage from my past and trying to maintain my life. I was the guy at the circus spinning all the pie plates. I couldn’t say no. Stress, pain and depression was setting in on my life after years of striving and carrying all the baggage. I talked to my doctor about the stress and pain. He prescribed Xanax for stress and Lortab for pain. It had been years since I had used any drugs legal or illegal and what I was doing was ok because my doctor ordered it. What I didn’t realize was the prescriptions were just masking the stress and pain in my life. This led me to the darkest place I have ever been in my life. I would do anything and everything to try and maintain my life and addiction. In this darkness I found Hope and how to find freedom from my pain and stress. This was through the help of many family members, friends, mentors, sponsors, counselors, pastors, 12 steps, Celebrate Recovery, AA, and NA. Addiction Recovery Care thank you for giving me the tools and educating me to this new way of life and the holistic treatment you provide.
DESCRIBE YOUR AHA MOMENTS
1. When I was arrested I felt a sigh of relief. I knew the madness was going to stop.
2. After sitting in jail and at Belle Grove Springs Recovery Center for about 60 days I decided I wanted to live and not die.
3. When I was able to connect the dots of the pain in my life through the help of Addiction Recovery Care and discovery of God’s love and Hope for me.
4. I was at Belle Grove Springs and was hearing everyone talk about how they were hearing from God. One afternoon I was walking around the lake area, I was mad at God because He wasn’t talking to me. I think I probably cussed at him. God? Why aren’t you talking to me? I heard in a clear voice “you’re not listening! Learn to be still and know I am God.”
DESCRIBE THE FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS WHILE IN ACTIVE ADDICTION
The feelings and emotions I felt were hopeless, broken, lonely, shame, sadness, fear, bitter, anger, and hurt. My feeling and emotions were all intermingle which lead to my addiction.
WHAT IS THE DRIVING FORCE THAT KEEPS YOU GOING WHEN TIMES GET TOUGH?
Faith, Hope, Love, Grace, Family and Friends. Knowing that any pain I encounter today that God will carry me through when I can’t carry myself. Carrying the message of hope to those suffering.
WHAT OBSTACLES OR ROADBLOCKS HAVE YOU ENCOUNTERED ALONG YOUR RECOVERY JOURNEY?
The obstacles and roadblocks have been many! Legal, Financial Loss, Bankruptcy, Divorce or Separation, Job Loss, Depression, Anger, Fear and Health Issues, Friendships.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WANT PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER STRUGGLED WITH ADDICTION TO KNOW?
What I want others that have never struggled with addiction to know is people in addiction they are not their disease! The things we did in our addiction is not who we are. There are root causes of addiction and it is very painful to find healing, closure, forgiveness of yourself and others.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR FAMILY MEMBERS OF A PERSON IN ACTIVE ADDICTION?
Dig in and hold on. Don’t give up on them. Love them, but don’t enable them. Educate yourself about addiction, read books, YouTube videos, get involved in support groups, Al-anon, Celebrate Recovery, etc. Help get them into treatment.
Finding recovery from addiction is one of the hardest things I have ever encountered in my life. If I could give the gift of recovery to every addict, I wouldn’t do it. I don’t want to ruin their journey! It has been an amazing journey! Rediscovering myself understanding I have real value and worth. Discovering God is always right beside me and loves me no matter how bad things get. He restores and my Hope is anchored in Him! Gods goodness always prevails!
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please call Addiction Recovery Care at 888.351.1761 or visit them on the web at www.arccenters.com.
There is hope. There is help.
James is the Assistant Director of Phase I at Sanibel House, a residential recovery center under Addiction Recovery Care. James has been sober for 3 1/2 years and uses his experience with addiction to help the clients find recovery as he did.