The focus in drug addiction recovery articles is often on the many steps that it takes to really recover, the challenges that will need to be overcome, the necessity for a strong support structure. The statistics on relapse or recession are rather daunting. But one aspect that is not often focused on enough is the success stories of those who overcome adversity to live not just ordinary lives, but extraordinary lives.
For many years people believed addiction to be a weakness stemming from some intrinsic character flaw. In fact, the exact opposite can be true in many cases: those who have great strength and power can find themselves susceptible to this illness which is a sign of the times in our society, and the overcoming of this challenge can serve as an inspiration to go on to bigger and better things. In effect, recovery from drug addiction can serve as a starting point for a whole new life.
One example of such a triumph is Biet Simkin, a woman who has had a hard life, becoming addicted to heroin after losing her mother, then her father. She overcame a crushing cocaine and heroin addiction before becoming a mom, only to lose her young daughter to SIDs (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.) She has managed to turn that around and has channeled her passion and experience into something beautiful that has enabled her to make a life she loves. Ms. Simkin is the founder of Center of the Cyclone, an immersive experience that weaves meditation, self-inquiry, art, music, and fashion, offering “an explosive experience.” She is one of the country’s leading meditation and mindfulness leaders.
Another is Per Wickstrom. He is a rather special case since his entrepreneurial success came in the form of finding ways to help others overcome their addiction, as he had overcome his. As CEO and founder of Best Drug Rehabilitation, Mr. Wickstrom exemplifies triumph over tragedy through dedication and perseverance. He has not only found success in his own recovery but has helped thousands of clients find theirs. The rehabilitation program at his facility addresses all aspects of addiction: emotional, behavioral, spiritual and physical. In this way, clients can overcome physical dependence, develop strong coping techniques, discover strategies for avoiding temptation, and find new ways of approaching life.
As quoted in a Huffington Post article, “The obstacles that young people face seem insurmountable. But no matter how bad it gets, no matter what mistakes you’ve made in the past, and no matter how old you are, you can overcome anything, become successful, and lead a respectable, healthy life. I say this because I overcame my battles with addiction, a battle that raged for more than 22 years. After winning my battle, I now run one of the largest holistic rehabilitation centers in the United States and help thousands of people every year beat their addiction and start a new promising life.”
These and other recovery success stories serve to point up the fact that recovery is possible, and that one can seek the life one wants regardless of seemingly insurmountable obstacles or crushing mistakes. Each person will find their own success: for many of us, simply being a good parent, or a valuable friend, or a meaningful contributor is the success we seek. Each of us sets an example for others, whether we realize it or not, whether it’s good or bad. Perhaps it is often knowing that we are paving – or at least walking – a road that is providing a path for others, that can motivate us to rise above when we feel we are ready to fall down. The best is yet ahead.