Editor’s note: Recovery Aroostook celebrates National Recovery Month by sharing stories of local people involved in this life-changing experience. The focus is to celebrate all people who make this journey and to embrace the 2021 theme: “Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community.
My name is Jonathan Holabird, and I want to share my story with you. It’s not a story about substance use or how I drove my friends and family away, although, you’ll read about that. This is a story about forgiveness, personal growth, and recovery.
The first chapter of my story begins in sixth grade where peer pressure and the need for social acceptance led me to try marijuana and alcohol. The difference between me and other kids my age who tried it? I didn’t stop.
It wasn’t until I was in my early 20s that I realized that something wasn’t right. My friends were all moving on. They were getting married, having children, getting great jobs, and I was not. I had changed as a man, but I hadn’t grown as a person. My true friends, the ones who supported and cared for me, started drifting away. I was alone.
I began to reflect on my life when my mother ended up in treatment for her struggle with alcohol use. I had tried numerous times before to stop, but watching her struggle inspired me, finally, to be honest with myself.
I sought voluntary inpatient treatment. I suffered a relapse and subsequent incarceration and was admitted, again, to inpatient treatment. This time, I dove, headfirst, into Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). The knowledge I gained from my time in AA and NA was wonderful, but what really hit home for me was another story I read — a story of the forgiveness of God.
It’s been four and a half years of recovery, and life is amazing. I am married. I am a father. I am a business owner. I am forgiven.
Beginning your own story of recovery is going to be hard, but you can do it. You can be successful. My advice to you is: you need healthy support — the support of loved ones. You must forgive yourself and others, and above all, look to God for problem control.
My name is Jonathan Holabird, and I choose to recover out loud, because I believe my story, my testimony, can help you.
To find out more about the pathways to recovery, and supports available for individuals and family members, find Recovery Aroostook on Facebook @roads2recoverycommunitycenter @recoveryaroostook @carlcenter or email firstname.lastname@example.org.