It says the importance of sober living, that a successful politician of America is running a sober living facility for the patients in recovery. This is a story of a military veteran who recovered from the co-occurring post-traumatic stress disorder and drug addiction and launched a successful political career. Chris Taylor, an army soldier and standout high school player from a well-respected background, became a heroin-dependent. But, at the age of 30, he now serves on the Safford City Council as the youngest leader ever served. He received more votes than any other nominee, even defeating a 20-year representative. And if his recovery story is not unique, the transformation is really nothing short of extraordinary.
Taylor outlined his trip from the ditch for sober living to the dais in a conversation with Foundations Recovery Network. He is not a devout 12-Stepper (“I have never been to a gathering in years,” he told the interviewer), but it is his greater force – Jesus Christ – that has enabled him to overcome life’s massive destruction that could end up to death.
Taylor, just like so many other high school players, suffered a severe, crippling injury during his senior year. When the car encountered curves in the road heading to the hospital, the intensity of the pain was so extreme that it forced him to become unconscious a couple of times. Then a nurse gave him pain relief pills which, in comparison, he should have realized was supposed to be a big challenge right away.
He responded by telling the Gila Valley Central, “that was as this soothing sensation, this warm rush fell over me quite immediately. One moment, I was in intense agony, and then the next, I was in the happiest state of my life.” And he quickly discovered that the opioid-based medication he was offered could alleviate both bodily and internal pain.
Consuming Pain Killers to Relieve Pain During Practice
Taylor used to use pain killers to get through warmups and competitions as time went by. It helped to keep the pain away from the original injury at bay – a heavy hit during a soccer match. Taylor was fully obsessed in a short period of time. He remembered seeing his first non-prescription pain pill at a Sonic fast-food place. A buddy assured him that it could not be that dangerous if it was prescribed for you to relieve pain. Taylor started to flounder after he graduated from high school and no longer had games to keep him occupied and sober living. He was consuming drugs the next thing he remembers.
The psychological pain of losing his grandmother and then 2 of his best friends in a car crash further strengthened his addiction. He relocated from Safford to Phoenix, where the situation just worsened. After his parents threw him out of the building, he moved in with his brother.
“I began doing stuff I would not do (before the sober living),” he told Foundations after six weeks of sober living. He said himself, “That is not really me. I am sorry, but I am not up to it.” His family sent him to a sober living house. Taylor said he was accompanied by long-term addicts who subjected him to far more truths he could not possibly understand. He entered the service after six months of sober living.
There Is Still No Preparation for Addiction in Psychological Combat Training
Taylor was glad to have served by the sober living facility, specifically as a paratrooper with the Green Berets, a psychological warfare unit. Taylor, who was exceptionally smart, had specialized training to collect intelligence information and assist Afghans in rebuilding their societies and forming their own local governments.
On his two rounds of service in Afghanistan, though, the country was far from welcoming. He, like so many other military members, saw civilians being slaughtered. He saw events that would permanently alter his life. And when he got out of the military, he learned just how to get out of the psychological distress caused by the trauma and start sober living life immediately. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and was relapsed to the drugs in no time.
“They based on my depression and that I was self-medicating when I had a sober living life with the co-occurring condition of mental health disorders. I was not treated as a drug abuser or even was not thought of like one. I was viewed as a war veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder, which turned out well for me. And then it was the start of my sober living lifestyle”
Servicing Others Took Taylor Out of Self
So, how did he pull that off? How has Taylor managed sober living and even contested and won the Safford City Council elections while dealing with pain that still continues to haunt him? This is a huge goal. Taylor also owns and operates Desert Eagle, a sober living facility. He began it after becoming deeply conscious, as a formerly addicted person, that Safford lacked such facilities.
He started lobbying the citizens of the town and the City Council for permission to open another sober living facility. It was a difficult challenge when NIMBY (not in my back yard) views persist as residents or businesses want to open recovery facilities and sober living centres. The stigma attached to people who have a drug abuse problem is still powerful. Taylor described the opposition he faced when attempting to open the sober living facility as “absurd.” “There are sober living facilities in every city.”
The individuals who are discharged from treatment facilities and are recommended to live in a sober living house must follow some rules and regulations of these houses. They need to do all the works that are a must for living in a house in groups. They are expected to cooperate. They are expected to live like they are living in their own home. They need to pay for the facility every month. They are provided with enough facilities worth living. These houses do not bore the victims, but they enjoy life. The individuals are expected to participate and share their experiences in the meetings of the house every evening. A sober living home’s purpose is to prepare patients to reintegrate into modern society while staying sober.
Taylor’s Family Vocabulary Lacks the Word “Stigma”
Hardships have meanings only if we understand them. We bear hardships only if they have importance in our life. Troubles can create a better way to understand our potential and what we can do to our extent. There can be a life without hardships but without meanings. So, if we want to create sense into our life, we may go and bear hardships firmly with the hope of a better future with minimum difficulties. The same is the case with sober living individuals in either sober living facilities or sober living in their own house independently. The belief that medicines are healthy and sober living is evil may be able to develop and evolve. As this continues, people will continue to explore sober living limits and help implement some of these concepts in real-time. As per the Research Centre on Substance Abuse, almost 80% of individuals who’ve enjoyed sober living for five years after recovery appear to keep up sober living indefinitely. That ensures that every activity people do to improve the period they are straight helping their long-term wellbeing. A person who has been enjoying sober living for a month and drinks a glass of wine at a party, for example, is legally relapsing to alcohol use following rehab.
Do you know why our parents struggle or struggled because they wanted us to be safe from hardships? Do you know why a teacher comes prepared in the class because he or she does not want to struggle during the lecture? The same is the case with every master, every coach, every sportsman, and every leader. So, we can say that we face or face hardships every day at every stage especially at the stage of sober living, without knowing that these are hardships? Because we take steps to avoid them shortly. If we do not, these little struggles may convert into problems in the future. So, do we need to find meanings within hardships? Why is it so essential to find meanings in the difficulties we face? Yes! It is essentially crucial. We can say that every new journey of life starts after the end of a dull night.
Taylor did not lose courage and motivation amid the opposition he received while attempting to open the sober living facility. Giving up is never a choice for him because of his past.
“I was highly active in the neighbourhood for three years (even before his elections to the City Council and oath in during early summer 2017),” he told Foundations. “I have seen firsthand how people’s perspectives are shifting. I discovered how to manipulate people’s attitudes to think a certain way in the service through strategic warfare, and that some of the activities I have done in civilian life have been about altering the shame of addictive behaviour.”
Taylor never attempted to mask his dependency on the election trials either. It would have been tough – Safford has a community of 10,000 people, while the general metropolitan area as a whole has only around 20,000 people. Unfortunately, often people wait until they are in a situation or have a medical condition before seeking clinical help. When this occurs, the issue is typically well-established. The excellent way to stop these difficulties is to improve the way we communicate about substance abuse, take advantage of any chance to alleviate stigma and guilt. Knowledge sharing is also the most effective way to eliminate these walls, building strong bonds based on transparency and confidence. Unless this degree of certainty is constructed, individual people are far more inclined to feel at ease and require the help they desire for sober living.
Although stigma is undoubtedly the most troubling part of dependency on drugs during the period of sober living, the need is to be the most optimistic, and we have the potential to improve it. This transition will not happen immediately, but we should be respectful and supportive of everyone around us on a daily basis, no despite what it is they are going through. “It seems like something is working out again for me just now, and I was sincere in the campaign period, which is uncommon among politicians. Most leaders are driven by ego and just seek to change how people see them.”
Despite his remarkable transformation, Taylor’s life is far from easy these days. “I still have dreams, I still have terrible flashbacks, I still experience anger, and I still have difficulty focusing.” But when I was at my lowest point, I surrendered my soul to Jesus Christ, and my struggles were removed, though not entirely removed. I now think those pressures were put on me for a purpose. I never imagined myself as one of those individuals who talk regarding Christ’s grace. I am currently enjoying my sober living life.”
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.