My name is Jesse and I am an addict. I have been sober since 10/23/2014 from my almost 10 year heroin addiction. I just started going to school to become a drug therapist. I know there a ton of people out there still struggling with heroin and I just want you to know that I have been in that same hole and I got myself out of it. please contact me for anything no matter what it is I will do my best to help. Good luck and god bless. If you are an addict or wish to understand the process that was my recovery from heroin addiction then please read on. Usually early in an addicts life and developed deepseeded habits that cause a lack of what I will hence refer to as fulfillment. Fulfillment meaning a general lack of pride, security, our conscious being ignored and ungroomed. This mixed in usually with some sort of traumatic deepseeded emotional childhood event. Look at it as a spiritual center or whatever you want to call it wether it be your general sense of right and wrong and the attachment to something outside yourself like your love for others personified and the general sense in humans is to want to help one another preserve life,happiness, and peace. Every human struggles with how keep balance in their lives spirit, mind, and body. Addicts are created by a series of habits usually developed at a younger age. Something like procrastination, wanting to put off unwanted tasks till the last minute. Lieing your way out of situations as a kid to get out of trouble. These habits carry into our adulthood. We have made it normal to lie, to steal, to be selfish, to sin. I myself struggled the most with being honest. Everything in my life was a lie, a front that I put up, the face that I wanted others to see. But when you break yourself down and start analyzing how every interaction in your life is going to cause an emotion and when all you do is lie, cheat, steal, and be selfish your not gonna be doing to well emotionally. I kinda like the analogy you gotta keep your room clean to be happy. You have to work on yourself diligently, and find out what your "bad habits" are that are stunting your spiritual growth. What we have is a "spiritual" problem. It is refered to in the big book of A.A. as the spiritual malady. Until you have mastered how to achieve happiness and fulfillment for yourself then you can't pass that ability on to anyone else which should be your focus eventually. If your in a place where you can say "How can I better myself presently so that one day I can live without the burden of selfishness and I can find the freedom that is in the service of others?". For you this may be your children, but is that not a trait you want your child to have, the ability to live a happy and fulfilled life with meaningful loving relationships with others. This skill I fear is growing more and more distant with today's youth. People don't talk anymore they Snapchat or message them on Facebook or check their status. But you cannot pass on a trait that you don't understand or haven't started working on yet. So this is what I did. First of all every night before bed I would go over my day and my interactions with others and just in general what happened in the day. What stressed me out, what made me unhappy? Who did I effect that day, what decisions did I make that affected another human being? Did my actions affect others positively or negatively? If there was negativity then what part did I have in that situation or interaction. If I had a part in the negativity then what do I need to fix in myself so that I can remove that stress for both me and my loved ones. A big part of life is about figuring out how to live it happily, also while not relying on external sources for happiness. I struggled for a long time with this, I lived an absolutely miserable selfish life. But now I go to bed greatful and I wake up excited for the day. I cannot explain to you the massivness that is the change from me in my addiction to the me that is writing this paper. I changed everything about myself I let go of abusive relationships, abusive habits, fairweather friends. I stopped lieing, I reached out to anyone who I had ever wronged and apologized for what I had done, even asked what I could do to make it up to them. I even went to institutions that I had stole from and admitted my crimes, just to have them tell me to stay sober and keep doing what I was doing. Life can be great but you have to make it that way. It is no easy task, but for anyone out there willing to put the effort in, I promise you there is light at the end of the tunnel. But you must always keep an open mind to the fact that your starting a journey that will last forever. You will never be perfect you will always make mistakes. But what you do with those mistakes and what you learn from them is invaluable. You must identify your bad habits by meditating at night. Once they are identified you will become aware and when they happen you can start to train your mind through repetition to undo that destructive habit. Lastly I must say that having belief and faith in your higher power, and developing a relationship with whatever that is for you is vital. The entire reason that you are breaking these bad habits is so that you can become closer to what god has intended for us. You might not like to hear this but I must be blunt. You can say you believe in God all day but if your living your life selfishly how can you have a good relationship with your higher power. It says in the bible god can't see sin. If your living your life constantly sinning then your connection with Him becomes worse and worse. It comes to a point where you get used to that feeling of not being connected to your higher power and things spiral out of control even more. You tell yourself your clinically depressed or use drugs to push the feelings of remorse, lonliness, and guilt away. These become normal feelings and people don't understand why they feel that way. That is my main reason for writing this. I want my sponsees and friends that I know have struggled with addiction to have some of the knowledge that I have acquired through my journey getting sober. It isn't even just people with addiction these are things that in my mind could help everyone live a happy fulfilled life. As long as they are open to a higher power and open to the idea that you are the only one that can make your own life worth living. I feel as if no matter where you are at in life there are always things you can work on to make yourself more spiritually fit and active. Just like your body can get out of shape, so can your mind and soul. So try out a few of my suggestions cus I promise you every step you take you will see instant results. Good look and god bless.