By: Jared M., Transformations Alumnus

Hello all! My name is Jared Matthys. I was born on July 7th, 1998 to Heather and Eric Matthys. I was raised in a small town in Ilinois that is about an hour west of Chicago. My early childhood was as normal as you could ask for. I had everything that I needed and most of what I wanted. I participated in multiple sports and did well in school. I started to notice that I was different from most children when I entered the 7th grade. While other kids were happy and seemed to live life without a care, I found my self sad and out of place as if I did not fit in anywhere. From what I remember there was no event in particular that brought these feelings on; they were just suddenly there. Over the next two years, these feelings worsened and I felt hopeless, and there was nothing I could do to alleviate these feelings. They hung over me like a dark cloud. I had been to many doctors and had been on many different medications to no avail, nothing seemed to make a dent in the deep depression that I felt.

When my freshman year of high school rolled around I found a medication that worked in a cabinet under the kitchen sink of my best friend’s house; that was when alcohol had entered my life. For the first time in years, I felt as if I fit in. I could act like myself without the worry of being judged. Most importantly, when I drank I was no longer depressed. I felt free. I’ll assume that if you’re reading my story that you know that things did not stay that way. The next few years of my life lead me into a very quick and brutal downward spiral. By the time I was 19, all I had to my name was multiple suicide attempts and crippling alcoholism and depression. I was living in my car with about five dollars in my pocket and vomit crusted over all of my clothes. I was falling through life with no direction. My only goal in life was to drink as much as I could to block out all emotions and thoughts. I was a shell of a human, wandering like a ghost.

By the grace of God, I woke up one freezing morning covered in sick with a moment of clarity. That moment allowed me to make it on a plane down to Florida where I went into a detox facility followed by a PHP program. Following that, I went into halfway house and I made it about six months before I drank again. My relapse happened because I did not work the steps of AA thoroughly. I left things off of my fourth step and I never fully gave my will over to the care of a higher power. I very quickly burned my life to the ground again. For the next year, I shuffled from halfway house to halfway house getting drunk over and over again. This brought me to a lower bottom than ever before. I felt as if I was trapped in this vicious cycle with no escape. I wanted to die. But on April 25th of 2019, God intervened in my life. I have not had a drink since that day. On April 25 I went into detox again, tired and broken, willing to do whatever It took to get sober and stay sober.

After my head had cleared somewhat and I was able to function on a basic human level, I was admitted to Transformations Treatment Center. I can say without a doubt in my mind that Transformations was instrumental in saving my life. They helped me to understand the true nature of my disease and they helped me work through past trauma that I wasn’t even aware that I had. I was able to leave Transformations with a clear understanding of exactly what I had to do to remain Sober. I was admitted into a phenomenal halfway house and hit the ground running. I got a sponsor who helped me to find my higher power and helped me to clear the wreckage of my past. Since then I have been giving back what was freely given to me to anyone who wants it.

To sum everything up, God, Transformations, and the program of AA has given me the ability to wake up with a smile on my face and a lightness in my heart that I never thought possible. They gave me freedom from the prison of alcoholism and the confidence to tackle whatever life throws my way. I can go anywhere and do anything. For that, I will be forever grateful to everyone involved. A life beyond my wildest dream doesn’t even begin to cover it.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and/or mental health issues, please reach out!

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