By: Anthony V., Transformations Alumnus

Nine years ago, I weighed 200 pounds, on welfare in assisted living, using food stamps, smoking two packs of unnamed cigarettes a day, drinking, and doing drugs. I was plagued with anxiety and depression. My mental health and physical health were failing to the point of psychosis. I was about to lose a job that I worked so hard to get, for a company that people would kill to work for. Eventually, due to all the dis-ease in my life, I was told I had Multiple Sclerosis. I was treated for MS for two years. I knew I was in trouble if I didn’t clean up my act.

With a lot of help from Transformations, I stopped drinking, stopped smoking, and started running. I started eating right and I took my life back with vengeance! I learned how to take stock of my past, make good and set right the wrongs I have done, and stopped behaviors that lead me back to the bottle. I also started praying and meditating every day. I began to live by basic principles and learned to help others. I became a good son, brother, uncle, friend, and boyfriend, and now a dog Dad. I also wondered how great it would be if I could run a marathon, even though I thought I was destined for a wheelchair.

After a year of no drinking, no smoking, eating right, and meditating, my doctors and I came to find that the MS was a misdiagnosis. After speaking with a lawyer, he asked me an important question. He said, “We can fight and try to win, but it’s going to be long and miserable. Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” I took about three weeks to think about that question. This was my answer: For the first time in my life, I was actually happy. I took it as a clean bill of health and felt gratitude in my heart for being clean, sober, and healthy and then realized; Now I can run a marathon!

Since that realization, I have completed SEVEN marathons. I still have the job I was going to lose which is for one of the leading technology companies in the world. I am also now a technical moderator for one of the best fitness companies in the world and I’m in the process of becoming a running coach. I am off welfare I no longer live in assisted living. I live in a beautiful home that was a gift from God. I bought a brand new car this year too. I tell you this not to brag or have you think it’s about the cash and prizes. I tell you because they say the best gifts come in the worst wrapping paper… My gift was gratitude and I have come to learn that a grateful heart will never drink.

Thank you for my sobriety!
Love and Light

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, please reach out!