Family often plays a significant role in a recovering addict’s journey to sobriety. For Brandon, kin was not only what encouraged him to seek treatment, it’s ultimately what keeps him on the right track now that he’s clean.
Brandon experimented with painkillers after college and convinced himself he’d be fine, but it quickly took over his life.
“I had a second job: Getting high,” he said. “I’d wake up every morning worried about being sick or not being able to get anything.”
With time, his addiction made him unrecognizable in both appearance and personality.
“I wasn’t the funny, nice, sweet guy I had been,” he said. “By the third year of using, people started piecing it together — I had lost 50 pounds. I had always been athletic, in the gym every day … but I wasn’t focused on working out anymore. I would lie and tell people I was trying to lose weight.”
He had the most trouble hiding the truth from his family, and even his grandfather became suspicious.
“My grandpa kept bringing up stories about people he knew whose kids or grandkids were on heroin. Finally, one day, he flat-out asked me if I had a problem with drugs — and if I did, to let him know and he would help me,” Brandon recalled, noting that the conversation only temporarily slowed his habit.
Finally, his family could no longer remain silent. His parents confronted him, saying they knew there was more going on than he was admitting, and that they believed he needed professional help.
“I didn’t know what to say. I was ashamed, embarrassed and disappointed,” he admitted.
It took a few days to sink in, but finally Brandon agreed to enter addiction treatment. He said going to the Treehouse in Texas ended up being one of the best decisions he ever made. He rediscovered his passion for life and committed to getting sober not only for himself, but for the family he loves so dearly.
“I’m so tired of disappointing them,” he said.
He’ll have to work at it every day, but Brandon noted that his efforts have already proven well worth it:
“I’m not drained, my personality is back — the old me is back, and people love me. I don’t want to go back.”