Daryl Pass, KYC Recovery Support Services Manager, shares his recovery journey in his own words, published in the Opioid Mental Health Awareness publication from Shaw Media. KYC is honored to share his story, proud to celebrate him as an extraordinary member of our team, and grateful for his work, especially as we continue to recognize Recovery Month this September.
By Daryl Pass
I am a person that has nine years of sobriety and relishes in recovery, and the two are very different, in my opinion. For me, sobriety is that I am not putting any mind-altering substances in my being, but recovery is a completely different component. Recovery is about transformative thinking and behavioral change. Nine years ago, I didn’t have that understanding as I was barely holding on to life and was immersed in substances and addictive behavior.
I was existing and not living.
For 30-plus years, substances were an everyday occurrence for me, and that ranged from marijuana to alcohol and eventually gravitating to crack cocaine, and the last 23 years of my substance use was heroin every day.
In addition to that, I was addicted to street behavior — gangs, violence, gambling and the like. All were a part of my chronic dysfunction. I was using substances and behaviors to fill a massive void — a void that was riddled with abuse, anger, resentment, grief and fear. All of these things were the prerequisite for me to self-medicate and try to solve my why without help.
Abuse comes in many forms. For me, there was sexual abuse at 8 years of age — I never told anyone until I was over 40 years old. That in and of itself caused me not to trust, and in many cases not to believe and to embrace fear. There was also grief in that where I had lost several people — family members and friends that I cared deeply about. Some were to sickness and some to street violence.
I never knew how to process that sadness, so I held on to it.
Having those things as part of my internal character caused me to embrace substances and those behaviors even more. It truly prevented me from loving and allowing myself to be loved. I made two attempts at inpatient treatment and several detoxes. I had multiple arrests and jail time and a stint in prison that didn’t stop me, and I just came back and picked up where I left off. It wasn’t until I was in so much pain and could no longer bear to look at myself in the mirror that I decided to tap out and by any means necessary to get better.
I understand today that I truly was uniformed and not ready for change, but once the pain got so unbearable, there was nothing left but death.
I DIDN’T WANT TO DIE!
I made a decision to use the same veracity to kill myself, to live instead. On June 18, 2012, I went into inpatient treatment for the third time and last time.
Today, I understand my disorder, and it is a disorder. Left untreated, it is progressive and deadly. Treated, through commitment, education and for sure service to others is a recipe for success.
Today my wound is a blessing.
I am an advocate for reducing stigma and increasing knowledge surrounding substance use disorder. In doing so, today I relish in recovery and am living my best life.
Presently I am a manager for recovery support at the Kenneth Young Center; I own two sober homes and a nonprofit — New Beginnings Recovery Mission.
I am so glad the Lord allowed me to choose life, and with his help I am able to help others navigate the minefield of addiction.
Never give up hope.
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