My Story is my Work, My Work is my Passion–I didn’t start any of what I’m doing by chance, I was picked for this mission, but was picked before I was born and ready for it. This movement has been designed around a fire that’s been at a slow simmer for many decades. When I was a kid, I didn’t say, “I wanna grow up and talk about addiction stories or recovery advocacy!” But that’s exactly what I’m doing. Heck, when I was in my first year of recovery I still didn’t want to do those things.
Then a time of eventual agitation grew inside of me and I started to grow tired of my slow moving recovery. I didn’t know what to do and I really wasn’t helping myself at that point in my life. A lot of different people recommended a lot of different forms of therapy to help me, but I chose education. And then through that education I found my true calling; writing and eventually helping other people.
So, I wasn’t really doing either of what I had planned on doing when I grew up. My dad wanted me to be a computer engineer, and my inner childhood self wanted me to be just like him, nor talk about addiction stories or recovery advocacy. But in order to heal, I really had to help myself. Through that thought, my writing came to me through a class at the University I was attending. I wasn’t good at what I was doing, and frankly it looked all jumbled and contorted on the paper. But, from this, the best thing possible started happening to me. I now had a place to vent and wasn’t holding my inner demons in anymore. Through my new therapy I became very selfish, locking myself off at times, and not sure who I was helping. But all I knew, was that through this new healthy release, I felt better.
So I didn’t start in this “business” of recovery to help people, but I did start in it to help me. And now through developing my story from a bunch of scribblings into something that more than just I could comprehend, it became a new passion of mine. It wasn’t just work anymore; it was a true passion. So what was my next step?
I turned my writing into a memoir that became an Amazon best seller in March 2014, and it was amazing the response I got. I got rave reviews and started what most would want in recovery… spreading the message.
This drove me further into my passion…
People weren’t shying away from my book because it was filled with vulgarity, but they were reading it more often than not because it gave them more truth about addiction than any medical guide could. There was no sugar coating this story, this story of my past, it just wouldn’t be just of me! And a lot of these people who were reading started to read it because they had loved ones who were stuck in the grips of what I went through. From this point I started to move on from that part of my life into something even more beautiful, which was a recovery that wasn’t just helping myself, but started to help a few people here and there… to start!
You know if I could be honest, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to even sell my book. I wasn’t sure that I wanted people to read what I had done, or that I had an opportunity to put a price on this. This may be the exact reason I came up with free reading material on Substance For You and converted my prior business/passion—Your Inner Addict—into this new style of writing. The new writing doesn’t stick to the vulgarities. I’ve tailored myself to a different audience, and became a little more hopeful with my messaging towards recovery. I try not to dwell on the past in a negative light anymore, as most of you know my story I would say that the struggle is what made me human and I wouldn’t change it today! So, I’m pretty firm that the new method is working for more than just me, but it doesn’t work because it’s just my story anymore. And this is what I am trying to get through in this entire article is that… My story is my work, and my work is my passion, and so much more! It’s ours, and ours, and all of ours! I’m proud of sharing this with you, not just with you.
If anything is held truest to this it’s that Substance For You and Your Inner Addict didn’t survive as “businesses” or anything like that. They survived because they are a passionate and heartfelt story of someone who is real, really struggling, and really trying to work his way towards the best recovery he can. I wear my story on my sleeve because that is what Substance For You is. I choose to pick my voice, shout it out loud, and live the Substance For You life versus running a business, and frankly running it into the ground that way. No lifestyle brand can survive without a positive message of why this lifestyle is one to back…
This isn’t just a lifestyle brand, but this is a specific lifestyle brand geared in what our motto on all of our promotional cards goes; “Addiction, Hope, Recovery.” This isn’t just my lifestyle brand anymore either… this is each and every one of our lifestyle brands, and that’s why this works for more than just another type of shirt to wear, or another blog to read, or another place to send your friends. It’s real, it’s me, it’s you. We can all relate to this because addiction isn’t just a substance abuse issue, it is someone struggling from any humanly struggle. You can have an eating disorder, or mental health ailment, or you could just like to play too much World of Warcraft. No matter the cause, we all share something in this type of lifestyle brand, and all have room to grow! That is a truth to live behind and back! This story is within all of us, and I know each of us can find a little bit or a lot of passion in why the humanly struggle is something to represent in each and every one of our daily doings! The recovery force is strong with you, I can feel it!
This is why my story is my work, because I don’t try to hide behind the mask of Substance For You, it is not a pen name either. It is a positive lifestyle worth living and an idea to love, cherish, and support! I won’t feed you something that is false about a branding name or why I do this, because we know why I do this now? I really want to help people get from where I was, hurting and struggling. To get to where I am, happy, healthy, recovering one day at a time. And for us to all go somewhere great together, and that somewhere would be to move this recovery movement for something great, because WE can.
That is exactly why my story is filled with my passionate lifestyle of branding, because I am passionate about making a difference, I am passionate about helping each and every person who comes to me or I reach somehow, and I’m passionate that my story will change lives. I wasn’t always passionate that it would change lives, but that came with the power recovery granted me, while I first tried to change myself. Are the pieces started to fall into place as you read this? I know they are! I’m even having my own spiritual awakening as I go through and re-edit, and re-read this before passing the message to all of you…
So when I started off trying to help myself like many of you are doing, you will most definitely inspire others to get better and join in on this passion we call recovery. With this I encourage each and every one of you, no matter where you are in life, to get out there and first help yourself because in turn it will help others. Then not if, but when, it turns into something more don’t look at it like work… look at it like changing the face of this earth forever. Look at it like surviving through something you cannot live without. That something is what we call a passion!
I’m passionate that you will get this, and I have somehow changed you now after reading this! Now get out there make the change, be the change, help others change for the better in whatever humanly struggle it may be. You can do it; I know you can!
“My story is my work, My work is my Passion.”
-Substance For You and Your Inner Addict
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