First of all I must thank you for the opportunity to share my life before and after Broadway Lodge.
My name is Julian and I am an addict.
My drug of election was cocaine but after 5 years, 11 months and 21 days clean, I must say that I am an addict, a grateful addict. My addiction includes anything that makes my adrenaline run. So I am addict to sex, food, cocaine, marijuana, buying, alcohol, gambling. That is what I have learned in Narcotics Anonymous, my 12 steps fellowship.
I started using when I was 11 years old. I live in Spain and my life was completely destroyed before crossing through the door of Broadway Lodge (A.K.A “The Miracle House”) on the 2nd May 2012.
One day, my wife told me I had to look for help, or else I would have to move out of my house. At that time I had two 5 year old children and I had lost everything – my job and money included. I was using cocaine and prostitutes every day. As we couldn’t repay the mortgage, the bank forced us out of our home and we moved into a small flat.
That was the moment I met my sponsor, Tato, who spoke to me about Broadway Lodge, the only place where I could have an opportunity to stop using and find a new way to live. On the 1st May 2012 I was flying from Madrid to Gatwick airport ready to step into Broadway Lodge the following day.
Big John was the person (or rather, ‘the angel’), who showed me that it was possible to find a different way to live, and that it was possible to live and enjoy life without using. When he shared his life story with me, I immediately knew that I did not want to use again. The most effective thing I discovered was the 12 steps programme and realising that I suffer an incurable sickness called addiction, but it can be treated, and it is possible to stop using. All therapists there showed me how to work every day to stop using. Another very effective thing I learned was that if I was honest, open minded and had the willingness to stop using, I would never use again. I have not relapsed since I knew about the programme.
Broadway Lodge promised me three things: that it was possible to stop using, that the obsession for using could disappear someday and that I could find a new way to live. It was all true. And the most important thing I received was hope. When I was next to suicide I had no hope and could not imagine one hour of my life not using. Now however, I could not imagine a day using.
My life is so different now. It has not been easy but I have not been fired from my job, which I have been working in since October 2013. My wife and I are a great couple and my mind changed so much that I cannot imagine my life with another woman. My doubts have decreased and if I have a difficult day I go to a meeting and share it. I am a happy person and I would not change the best day of use for the worst day in recovery. When I was using I had time for nothing apart from using drugs but today, I am able to do a lot of things.
I work on my recovery every day, I work my steps and write a question daily, I have a sponsor and three sponsee’s and I’m a respectable member of Narcotics Anonymous and of society. I go to a meeting every day in Madrid where I live (I am very lucky there are 4 or 5 meetings a day) and if I cannot go, I connect myself to a Skype meeting. The most important thing I have learned is to live for every 24 hours at a time. That’s all I have to worry about – just for today.
I could write a complete book in order to say thank you to all of you. You really saved my life.
View next recovery story
Julian flew from Madrid to get help for addiction at Broadway Lodge