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Ryan’s Story

After a childhood profoundly affected by his father's addiction, an injury started Ryan down a similar path. Now he's found a way to break the cycle, to be a present and positive part of his kids' lives.

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In this article

Content warning:  This piece discusses parental violence and death, as experienced by the author.

Breaking the curse of family addiction

My name is Ryan, and I was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas.

My father was addicted to pain pills. As a kid, I spent many nights sleeping in a car in the parking lots of hospitals anywhere from Beaumont to Houston. He was so bad off that at one point, he held my mother and me hostage for 72 hours until my uncle literally had to have SWAT kick our door in to rescue my mother and me.

When I was 12 years old, my father died of an overdose.

He was only 46. I was the one who found him dead on the couch. I talked to the 911 dispatcher the whole time. They were walking me through the steps of CPR when I tried to open his mouth, but it wouldn’t budge. Rigor mortis had already set in. When the ambulance and coroner finally arrived, they pronounced him dead on the scene.

By 17, I was a high-school dropout. I went to work in construction and spent the next two years learning all that I could. Until one day, I fell through the roof of a metal building on a Bee Farm while refacing it. I fell 25 feet to a concrete slab. I spent two years recovering from that accident.

I wanted to drown out the pain—from the fall and the mental issues from finding my father dead. I was trying to escape myself instead of dealing with my issues … and that’s what led me to meth and pain pills. I didn’t have a primary care doctor, so I wasn’t able to keep any pain meds on hand to make it through. So I ended up on heroin.

I spent ten years in an active addiction.

I started spending all my extra money on heroin,  staying high all day, every day. I lost interest in doing anything other than going to work high as a kite and then coming home. When I started staying high instead of being a father, that’s when I realized I was putting my kids through the exact same thing I had watched and dealt with growing up. And I refused to put my kids through that.

I spent a week in detox before I ended up in the ER and that’s how I found out about the Suboxone treatment.

Honestly, Workit Health is the best choice I’ve ever made.

I highly recommend taking that leap. This program has been such a lifesaver for me and has changed my whole outlook on life. I have my freedom and my happiness back. I can actually be a “normal” part of society. And most of all, I am there for my two children.

In sobriety, I am back to fishing on the weekends. I am way more active in my outdoor hobbies than I’ve ever been. I even find time to go to the gun range now—before, all my free time and money was spent getting high. And my kids love the fact we are back to doing our normal activities instead of just staying home on the days I have them.

Alaine Sepulveda is a content strategist in recovery from alcohol. She believes that engaging people and sharing stories with them allows us to spread knowledge, and to help others in the path to recovery. She holds an MA in Communication Studies from New Mexico State University.

Any general advice posted on our blog, website, or app is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical or other advice. Workit Health, Inc. and its affiliated professional entities make no representations or warranties and expressly disclaim any and all liability concerning any treatment, action by, or effect on any person following the general information offered or provided within or through the blog, website, or app. If you have specific concerns or a situation arises in which you require medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified medical services provider.

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