In a Soul’s Code exclusive from the newly released book, Unintelligent Humans. . .Questions to Stimulate Your Soul, a former addict shares his path from street life to helping others overcome their demons
I hadn’t changed or showered in a few days and I felt like all my humanity had been suddenly sucked out of me. I abruptly realized what had happened as I rolled over and had no idea who was lying next to me.
Once again I had relapsed and spent close to two thousand dollars on cocaine, for what reason I’m not sure. During my past 13 rehabs I had been told that I had a disease but my mind didn’t want to believe this.
I could control this malady they called addiction. I could save myself. I believed I was all powerful and all knowing. I was an omnipotent being that didn’t need the help of anyone.
On this day something was different. I was beat up, jobless, penniless, and I had just called my mother for help and she said she wanted nothing to do with me. This was her way of helping me to realize I needed help desperately. My heart sunk and I contemplated suicide once again. At this point I had two options available to me. I could surrender to this disease — which was being suggested by the treatment professionals and begin recovery — or end my life. Fortunately I chose recovery and began my path toward growth and a quality of life that I could never imagine.
“If we don’t change our direction we are likely to end up where we’re headed” — Chinese Proverb
Early recovery was difficult, however I was determined to stay sober a day at a time and make something of my life. With the help of addiction professionals who were genuine, caring, empathetic, and real I was able to make progress on a daily basis. I trusted them and this is what made recovery possible. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I did know that I wanted to stay sober. Those around me helped in every possible way they could.
Throughout the growth process of recovery I decided and was urged by my higher power to enter the field of addictions and to guide others to the life that I was given through the miraculous process of recovery. I ended up going back to school and accomplishing great feats that I could never have imagined. I graduated with my undergraduate degree and pursued my master’s degree in clinical psychology. During these years I continued to work in the field of addictions and was mentored by incredible individuals. I was taught to work with passion and care and to advocate for clients no matter what.
I have grown since the day I stepped into recovery. I have been blessed with a gift to be a therapist that cares about one and only one thing — helping clients improve their lives a day at a time. What many of us call “work” is my life. Therapy and helping others enjoy a better quality of living is my life and I continue to be blessed on a daily basis with clients who want the help to get better. Little do they know: they help me more than I could ever help them. They give me strength to keep going on a daily basis as they share with me their personal lives and world. That is truly a gift.
“Never think there is anything impossible for the Soul” – Swami Vivekananda
I’ve come from the depths of insanity and from sleeping on the street to working with individuals much like myself who want to live a better life. The best part: my recently accepted job position in the Cayman Islands.
Who would have thought that an alcoholic and an addict with an advanced degree in psychology would be helping other human beings better their lives in a tropical paradise. It’s not something I would have ever imagined ten years ago when I entered recovery.
As a therapist I urge other therapists in this field to continue to have hope for their clients. My therapists had hope for me and now I’m able to impact countless lives across the globe.
Life for me is all about helping other human beings, which is one of the pertinent keys for the evolution of humanity and the universe we live in.
Never, never, never, never give up on a human being. It took me many tries, but eventually I succeeded.
Read another excerpt from Unintelligent Humans: The death of the soul mate fantasy.
Richard A. Singer, Jr. is a trained psychotherapist, college instructor, and award-winning author. Richard is the author of two meditation books, Your Daily Walk with the Great Minds: Wisdom and Enlightenment of the Past and Present, and Eastern Wisdom for Your Soul. His work has been featured in magazines, including Library Journal and Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine, and he has appeared on radio and television shows. Richard lives in Georgetown, Grand Cayman Islands.
To learn more about Richard and his work, please visit his site.
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