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Joel K.

by James Thelen 08 Jul 2024 0 Comments
I grew up back and forth between my mothers and fathers house. We lived in Wasilla Alaska but I would travel to Chignik a small fishing village to stay with my father while he worked. There was very little parental oversight in Chignik. I started getting into trouble stealing cigarettes and tobacco from the local stores. Breaking into peoples house. I guess this was my first taste at adrenaline. When back in Wasilla I started playing hockey and skateboarding. This is where my drug use started. I started smoking pot with all the older kids at the skatepark. I wanted to be "cool" and to fit in. by the time I was in high school I had tried cocaine and oxycontin. I wasn't like normal high school kids who dabbled in drugs then stopped. When I partied I blacked out and drank as much as possible. When I did drugs I did as much as possible. Looking back i was a full blown addict before i graduated high school. one of the kids from my hockey team told me about his mom having some pain pills one day and he brought an oxycontin to practice. This is where my opiate addiction took off. By the time i graduated High school i had thrown my hockey career down the drain and started a full blown drug addiction. I started using drugs intravenously and never looked back. I had gotten myself into near death situations and had not a care in the world. Doing anything to maintain my addiction whether it be stealing from my family who loved and cared for me or stealing from the stores. I was so far gone with no end in sight. I tried treatment in California which worked temporarily until I came home and did not work a program of recovery. I went back out for a few years and luckily i was arrested and sent to prison. I believe that God used the Wasilla police to pull me from the Darkness and put me back on the right path. If it was for them I would probably be dead. this time was different I felt relief in the Back of that police car on the way to jail. I was done running. When i got to jail i began taking any classes they had to offer. I would attend regular church services. I built an amazing relationship with my higher power. I remember some of the other inmates telling me i seem "different" in a good way. I was happy and i was in jail. Because i had freedom from the drugs and crazy lifestyle. Upon release from prison 2 years later I moved into a transitional living house and started outpatient treatment. I regularly attended Men's bible study groups and kept my recovery strong. Today I have 3 beautiful kids and another coming in June. I have a wife who loves and supports me. I get to show up as a father, A brother, A son, an overall productive member of society. I am the residential program manager of 2 residential drug and alcohol treatment centers in Alaska. I get to give back to the community I poisoned for so long by helping others put their demons behind them. I owe all my sobriety and success's to The big man upstairs. My sober date from all mind-altering substances is 9/17/2019. If a no good junkie like myself can put my demons behind me.....So can you. God bless


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