Jason Shares His Story Of Recovery

Jason Shares His Story Of Recovery

Jason Coombs, the founder of Brick House Recovery, shares his story of recovery.

Play Video

(Video Transcript)
(0:00) – I think my story, my story starts back when I was a kid, as a kid, you know, I wake up in the morning and I was plagued with instant anxiety. I think there’s something common amongst those that in depth addicted to alcohol or drugs or any addictive behavior for that matter. And it’s sort of like an undertow of feeling not good enough. When I was first introduced to alcohol, um, I was about 17 years old and that became my answer. It solved that problem temporarily. It helped me to feel good enough. Alcohol led to other experiments with drugs.

(00:52) As the story goes, every person in longterm recovery’s life, they look back and they say, yeah, drugs and alcohol were a solution for a long time. They didn’t become a problem until later. I was out mowing my lawn, and still remember the song I was listening to on my headphones when an unmarked vehicle pulled up to my curbside and a man in a police uniform stepped out. He had his gun, he had his badge, he had a manila envelope in his hand and he walked up to me and I turned off the lawnmower and, he handed me the envelope and he said, I recommend you get an attorney, have a nice day. To my surprise, I was being charged with multiple felonies and misdemeanors. The list went on and on and on, and I was looking at the maximum sentence of all of these charges if I were to be convicted, I’m staring at 90 years, you would think that would be enough to stop me from using that. The first thing I did was I called my dealer. I spent, uh, the better portion of the year of 2006 behind bars and my ex-wife had moved on and that was gut-wrenching.

(2:25) My parents had cut me out effectively of their lives, but I always knew that they loved me. I got so miserable inside. Yes, all of the external consequences happened. I was homeless, jobless, divorced, completely stripped away of any meaning or purpose. In fact, I welcomed death. I was so depressed and in such a dark place that there was no hope, there was no reason for me to get sober. Yet still, something deep down inside was gnawing at me. It was like a little fleck of hope that maybe, just maybe, I could change. What was about to happen completely blindsided me. And then the unexpected happened. It was, it was divine intervention. I learned that I was going to be a dad. For the first time in my life, there was something more meaningful to me than my addiction.

(3:38) When I held my son for the first time, that change inside is, it’s unspeakably sacred for me because it was, it was my volition, I wanted to change for him. I wanted to become the birth father that he could be proud of. I did not want him to grow up and to look back and to see his, his birth father as a junkie or a failure. So for the first time in my life, I wanted to change. It was time for me to shed the old guy and become someone new. I set out on a course of redefining who I am and what I would become, and I checked into a 12 step Higher Powered based treatment program. Step one was very real for me. I recognized I couldn’t stop using drugs and alcohol. I couldn’t change on my own, but where do you go from there? And so I was really struggling with step two in and around this concept of coming to believe in a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity and to health and to abundance.

(4:55) And I’ll never forget the advice that I was given. My counselor asked me to take a piece of paper and to write down all of the attributes I would want in an ideal higher power, as if I had the power to kind of create my God. What kind of personality traits would he have? What kind of hobbies would he enjoy? And I went through this process and I began to write down all of these attributes in the first ones that I began with where I wanted, I wanted to believe that there was a God that could forgive me for what I had done. And the pain that I had caused others. I wanted a God that had a sense of humor. I wanted a God that understood addiction, understood the suffering that I had went through, and that I was going through, the pain and the loss and the grief that I was plagued with. And on a light side, I also wanted a God that liked to snow ski with me and one that would ride the lift up the mountain with me and would be totally cool talking to me and listening to music with me and one that played the guitar. And when I took the assignment back to my counselor and presented it to her, she asked me, is this a power that you can trust? Is this a power that you can turn your will and your life over to? I said, yes, because this guy is a stud. This guy is awesome. I can trust this guy. This guy gets me.

(6:42) Upon that foundation, I was able to really turn my will and my life over to this spiritual process which is asked of us in step three, which is to make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand him, as I understand him, but when I made that decision to open up that line of communication with a power that I could trust, that I felt could understand me and meet me where I was at, everything around me started to change. It was incredible. I still had so much self-loathing and self-hatred and I still really struggled, struggled with inadequacies and shame and all of my character defects that continually got in my way. That’s where steps four through seven come in and that process of going into the cave of my past and taking a big, huge flashlight in with me and to admit that stuff to God and to admit that stuff to myself, to own it and to be a man and to step into that and say, I am going to face this regardless of the consequences, I’m going to face this because my soul needs this. 

Up to this point, steps one through seven, I got right with me, I felt okay with me now. I finally had a sense of self-love and self-acceptance and in steps eight and nine that’s the process of where I would go out and make amends and to share with others my deep regret for harming them. And not saying, sorry, I had used up all my sorrys, but an amends is…

(8:49) I understand what I did that hurt you. I sincerely feel horrible about this and I feel sorry for it, but what can I do to make this right with you and ask that question and then let them set the terms of how that amends is going to go. I felt liberated after every single amends. The process of working the first nine steps helped me create a relationship with myself, helped me create a relationship with God and a relationship with mankind and with others. That is what recovery is all about, is building those relationships and connections. That’s what I hope that this video does is that through others hearing my experience that they will see that the steps aren’t scary, that the steps are to be lived. These principles are to be adopted and to be ingested as new ways to approach life. And then of course we have the maintenance steps or the growth steps, which are 10, 11, and 12, and that includes essentially walking through this process on a daily basis.

Recognizing that I can’t stay sober today without God’s help. Therefore I need to seek his will and I need to be the best version of myself today. And if I harm anyone or if I screw up, then I need to make that right, now. And step 12, this one is where the rubber meets the road for me because my life is dedicated to step 12.  That is to take this new, restored, redeemed version of myself and turn back to help the next person to find this power, to take the Lord’s hand and this person’s hand and bring them back together and to say, try again and to hope and inspire them to walk the same road I walked through is essentially what it’s all about. That’s what keeps me going. I do not take credit for the success of any clients that walk through this program. I only create the environment for the magic to happen, but the magic and the miracles are between them and their loving Creator. Everybody can recover. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recover. It’s a very simple process, but it’s gonna take a level of humility. It’s going to take some open-mindedness. It’s gonna take willingness, and it’s gonna take a real hard, honest look at yourself. And through that process, you can become a new person.

The post Jason Shares His Story Of Recovery first appeared on Brick House Recovery.
Back to blog