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How is Sobriety Inspiring?

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Sobriety is inspiring. It’s what makes a man like me—who’s done the things that I’ve done—be able to not only fulfill my dreams, but the dreams of those who’ve always believed in me. I never thought, coming up on Christmas, that I’d be able to spend another holiday without ending up in the hospital. I’d either of been relapsing—ending up in rehab—or I’d have been stricken with mental/chronic health ailments. The road to sobriety hasn’t been easy, and even while clean, I’d hurt many people. But that’s exactly what pushed me forward, and inspired me to do better. I knew I could, but now I’m telling you that I know YOU can, too!

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This Christmas I’ll be given blessings instead of coal. I was always letting people down, but this year I’m Santa bringing gifts to put underneath the Christmas tree. Two weeks before the big day I’m meeting friends from Party Sober Clothing, of whom inspired me to get started in this process. That same week I will become one semester shy of graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Substance Abuse. The next week will be the happiest of my life; until I have children. On December 18th, 2015 I will be marrying my fiancé who passed her K-1 Fiancé Visa and traveled safely from the Philippines. We’d been apart for 14.5 months and the freedom of knowing I will never have to be apart from her again is all too healing!

The next phase of the holidays will finally be Christmas. On Christmas Eve 2010 I had my last battle with heroin, pills, alcohol and drugs. Christmas 2015 will be my five years clean and sober. Amongst all of the battling and hardship I can finally say that I’m in a really great place! It’s not hard looking back on the past anymore, but before it was. Today I can say, “I inspire myself through sobriety.”

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In the past five years I’ve gone from heroin abuser, who was always counted down and out. The next year I was locked up in a mental institution for passive aggressive suicidal and homicidal tendencies. The year after that I was stricken with an auto-immune disorder creating full body nerve damage. A few months after that I’d developed blood clots in my liver from stress and not taking care of my body. If one thing that all of these trials and tribulations has taught me it’s that I never gave up! It was extremely hard; I was in a lot of pain. Being an ex-heroin addict, always trying to dull the pain, it was one of the worst times in my life…still sober, too! But, after three years’ things started to get themselves back into place. So, I can’t say things start by beckoning to your feet. But through a lot of hard work, it will be worth it!

Next, I started back attending the University and learned new things to tame my mind, body, and soul. I started working out for my body; doing yoga and weight lifting combined. For my mind I learned how to sit still (meditate). I remember that being one of the hardest parts. I would be in pain over absolutely nothing, but I worked very hard to change that! And for the soul I began writing. This was one of the best gifts I could not just give myself, but the world. Sharing my/our stories is how we beat the stigma, overcome our fears, and unite together to be better.

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After I began writing I wrote my first book (of three, 17 short pieces, and multiple blogs). I started to develop a sense of belief. I worked on myself through the longest self-inventory I’ve ever done. It took me a little over a year, but Illicit: Life in the Eyes of an Addict was published. Now, my moral inventory has been read by almost 2,500 people, and continues to spread steadily. I began to believe that the power sobriety granted, was working.

I’ve started to branch out and am now meeting incredible people. Friends from Sober Nation have been incredibly helpful for a little over six months now. Party Sober Clothing has been close knit with my recovery since day one of starting Substance For You. And now I’ve got the blessing of spreading a great message with my newfound friends in Rise Together. But someone who molded my past, present, and future was the founder of We Are Not Voiceless. I will be forever grateful for his guidance. Without his respect and dignity to “show me the ropes” I wouldn’t be here telling my story to you.

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These probably are all names you’ve heard before, but throughout the process I’ve connected with tens of thousands of more of you, individually. I count you all as the biggest inspiration of all. Somehow each and every one of you have touched my life, and inspired me more than you could know. We are one in this journey, you are my heart and soul. If ever I have doubts today or any day, you are what pushes me passed them. I say no more to the rubbish, today we only know truth. Together we are granted this; this serenity.

I’ve gotten many thanks, gratuitous mentions, and humbling opinions on the work I do here. But, if I have to say anything about Substance For You it’s that you’re it, not me. If there weren’t people out there, courageously sharing their stories with me, I would be stuck and miserable in life. Your struggles are as real as mine, and I have to say the bigger plan for all of us in sobriety was to join together. As my good friends in Rise Together say, “Together We Rise, Alone We Fall.”

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So, it’s safe to say that sobriety is inspiring, but not in the way you thought I would have written this piece. Please spread this message/blog/idea to someone who’s come into your sobriety and inspired it, because each and every one of you have inspired my sobriety/kept me healthy since day 1! I couldn’t/can’t/won’t do this without you. If any one of you want to reach out and personal share your journey with me, or on Substance For You, I’d be honored. Please email me at Maybe we can get together and collaborate on how to spread sobriety even more, someday. I’m willing and I’m open. I’m here for you as much as you are here for me! So, thank you all so very much for inspiring me through sobriety and making OUR lives worth the fight.

Be prepared world. A revolution is coming! You are inspiring.

If you run, work for, or know a treatment center that is wanting to get involved in this mission please email me or DM me on Twitter (@SubstanceForYou), Facebook (, or Instagram (@SubstanceForYouIG) We would love to inspire with you. Please keep the hope alive and saving lives. Together we can make a difference. So, reach out and stay inspired! We have the same mission and together we will be unstoppable!

Love, peace and eternity my friends!


-Brian (Founder at Substance For You)

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