The program director from The Way Out Recovery SCV, an outpatient rehab in Santa Clarita, recently gave his testimony in an effort to demonstrate “what is possible in recovery.”
Bob Sharits began by noting that he does not like to compare people’s addictions and rock bottom moments, adding that it is not necessary to let an addiction almost kill a person before they seek help. However, he did go to this length personally before deciding he had to stop.
“I really consider it miraculous that I’m standing here, mostly of sound mind and body after all the damage that I did in my addiction to myself and the people around me,” Sharits said. “It’s a miracle that I’m even clean and sober.”
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But with that being said, Sharits noted that he is an example of what is possible as a result of the recovery process, when a person struggling with addiction not only commits to getting and staying clean and sober, but also to change other aspects of their life that contribute to the addiction.
“The drugs and the alcohol — and this may sound foreign — are not really the problem. The problem is life. It’s dealing with life,” Sharits said. “Life seems to be very overwhelming. We don’t handle our emotions well. We sometimes struggle with diagnosed or undiagnosed mental health issues that go along with it, and so drugs and alcohol oftentimes for people who struggle with addiction can sort of be the solution to life.”
Sharits noted it is important to realize that once an addict stops using, life does not suddenly “come easy,” but that the person must work hard to maintain their mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing so that they are not driven to pick up a drug or drink.
For Sharits personally, another key part of his recovery was living a life that he isn’t ashamed of, and so he strives every day to be as honest as possible, live with integrity and “show up” for important people and things, such as his kids and his job.
“(I) try to live this very transparent and honest and open life so that I don’t have things eating away at me so that a drink or a drug seems like a good idea,” he said.
While deciding to change his life and begin his recovery first came from a place of desperate necessity, Sharits continued that now his reason for continuing in his recovery is a little different.
“I knew for sure that on Aug. 16, 2005, I did not want to get high anymore, that drugs were killing me, that alcohol was killing me, that I could not live the way that I was living, and I was willing to do anything that it took so that I didn’t have to live like that anymore,” Sharits said. “Now it’s done because I love feeling the way that I feel based on the way that I live. In doing so, I’ve taken care of myself physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally, and continue to do that.”
Another “key” aspect of Sharits’ recovery was discovering his love of the outdoors, when he started hiking, backpacking, camping and running about a year after getting clean and sober.
“I started doing all these things that I had sat in my other life wishing I could do, but the drugs always got in the way,” he said. “So I really embraced that.”
Because he tends to be “a little bit of an extremist,” Sharits took his newfound passion for running to new heights with his training over the years, and shared that this past weekend, he completed the 50-mile Ray Miller Trail Run.
“I say all that because I want people to understand that when you have had enough, when you get into the recovery process, that your expectation of what it might be could be wrong,” Sharits said. “What I have found is that the recovery process certainly is about staying clean and sober, but it’s about so much more than that.”
Sharits continued, “It’s about living to the fullest that we can possibly live and doing as much as we can for others and being of service and kindness and caring and love, and all that stuff that gets pushed to the side in the pursuit of drugs and alcohol when you’re an addict. So I just want to demonstrate that, that if you’re scared about coming into the recovery process because it’s new territory, that I want to promise you that there’s this beautiful world that’s waiting for you.”
Ed. Note: This article is a KHTS Community Spotlight based on a recent radio interview with The Way Out Recovery Outpatient Rehab in Santa Clarita.
In Santa Clarita, drug issues are a major concern for many. The mission of The Way Out Recovery Outpatient Rehab in Santa Clarita is to provide high quality, effective alcohol and drug rehab outpatient services to the Santa Clarita Valley. The Santa Clarita rehab’s goal is to assist adolescents, adults and their loved ones in becoming happily and usefully whole, free from drug addiction. Those seeking alcohol and drug treatment in Santa Clarita, a drug rehab in Santa Clarita, a teen drug rehab or simply a “rehab near me” can rest assured that The Way Out Recovery SCV’s philosophy is to teach life-long coping skills and strategies to assist in improving quality of life and living happily and meaningfully without the need of destructive behaviors.
The Way Out Recovery SCV – Santa Clarita
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