Addiction is a cruel master, and many of us are slaves. However, there is freedom in the midst of our failure. Today we talk with Daniel Oldham who is no longer bound by addiction.
How did your drug use begin?
My drug use began with smoking marijuana in high school. Mostly due to hanging out with the wrong crowd.
Why did you continue using?
In the beginning I continued to use to have something to do with friends, it wasn’t long until I was addicted, and I didn’t realize until a decade later.
How long were you a user?
I was addicted to drugs, all of them, from age 12 to age 39.
What were some of the worst things you experienced because of drugs?
I overdosed 6 times on heroin and had to be revived with Narcan. When I woke up every time, I immediately wanted some more of the same thing that just almost killed me. It was insanity and chaos constantly for years.
When did you decide to get clean and sober, and what lead to the decision?
After almost 28 years of addiction, at age 39, I finally hit rock bottom and had nothing but the clothes on my back. I was homeless with no one to help me, so I overdosed one last time. When I woke up, I was in in jail screaming for God to help me. Goad has helped me from that day forward. He gave me the strength to overcome the addiction that had taken my whole life and everything I loved.
What ultimately helped you get and stay clean?
Shelby County drug court, the love of God, and staying around people who loved God and had the same goals as I did. Good relationships saved my life. I attended Church and Celebrate Recovery every time the doors opened, served, and became involved in leadership opportunities every time I was given a chance.
What is life like now that you are clean?
I will be clean 4 years April 13th, 2022, so it’s been almost 3 1/2 years since I’ve been a slave to a substance. I’m married to my dream woman who is my best friend. I live in a nice home in Helena and have an amazing job as a peer support specialist helping others find freedom from their addictions. I’m also the ministry leader/director of our Celebrate Recovery at church helping people overcome hurts, habits, and hang-ups. I now have 100+ real friends who truly care about me and treat me like family.
What advice would you give to someone that is struggling?
I would tell anyone struggling with addiction that life is way more fun without drugs and it only takes a little time to change the mess you have made, even if it’s almost 28 years. The people you get high with aren’t your friends! Stay away from them for a month and see what happens, they will disappear more than likely. There is a God who will love you and give you more than you ever can dream of if you only follow Him with a sober mind. There are people who will love you for being different and you can have a purpose for your life. Many others and I are living proof. Nobody has paid me to say any of these things!
Are you struggling or know someone who is? We exist to help connect you with resources that can help. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how we can partner together. We do today for tomorrow.