A Recovery Story– By Tave Kuckhoff
My name is Tave and I am a person in recovery. As I write this, I notice the birds chirping outside my window, the smell of the coffee brewing in the kitchen, and the sound of my 6-week-old daughter cooing in content. Most of all, I notice the deep sense of freedom I have. I am finally free. Not in the sense of legality although I am free from that now too, but in the sense of being free from myself. I am finally free from the harrowing suffering that my addiction brought to me mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually in every aspect of my life. Almost three years ago I would be noticing the sound of the jail cell doors slamming shut, the intense stomach aches and cold sweats vibrating all over my body and the deep depression consuming every thought like a cloud of smoke that consumes the sky as a wild fire rages through the forest.
I was addicted to it all. The lifestyle, the self-pity, and the drugs. Heroin was my heroine. I believed I could not live without it and that it was the only thing I was good at doing. At that point in my life, it was the only thing I was good at doing. Slowly but surely my life spiraling downward with no way up. I was drowning with no life raft in sight and I did not care. I was ready to die and my family was already mourning my inevitable death as I fell deeper and deeper into my addiction.
December 1, 2017 I was arrested on charges that could finally send me to prison for up to 8 years. As I laid on my jail cell concrete using magazines as a mattress, I finally decided it was time to make a change. I was not going anywhere anytime soon, and I was so tired of being tired. I knew the road ahead would be hard and it absolutely terrified me. So, I started out with one thing at a time. My 6-month jail sentence, my 16-month long rehabilitation, 6 months of recovery housing, 2 and a half years of probation.
I was embarking on a journey of total self-awareness. It became beautiful and exciting. I was hitting milestone after milestone. I was setting goals and achieving them. Recovery isn’t about just abstaining from drugs and alcohol, but also to become the best person you can be. It’s about addressing those core issues that keep you handcuffed in the darkness. I had to forgive those who hurt me, forgive myself for hurting others, surrender and ask for help. One step at a time, one minute at a time, and one day at a time.
As I put positive things out there, positive things came back to me. I am a person in recovery. I am proud of that. For the first time in my life I can finally say I love the person I am today. I found my life raft and have realized it was in my mind, body, and spirit the entire time. So, if you are reading this and you are wondering if its possible to make a change, I can whole heartedly promise you that you can. It is okay to ask for help. The recovery community is large with many different pathways so If something does not work for you, keep trying.
The pathway I chose to sustain my recovery is holistic. The natural approach to healing. I practice self-care every day of my life and it could be as simple as sitting down on the couch and laughing to a classic comedy movie. I have found a supportive recovery family and community which has given me a sense of belonging. I actually belong somewhere, and people love me for who I am. My recovery has brought me stability, healthy relationships, family, peace, and the list goes on and on. I am happy, I am brave, I am proud, I am Tave, and I am a person in recovery.