I truly believe that the more that you hear about, read about, or see someone doing something that you want to do or are thinking about doing, it will motivate you to do it. This can be both a positive thing or a negative thing. So, with that being said, I want to make sure I put as much positive influence in front of you as I can. I would like to introduce a new series of post that I am going to call “Success Stories.” These are going to be interview with people who have made it out of that valley of death and lived to tell there stories. They will be business owners, athletes, community leaders, ect. I want the to share their stories with you all because I want you to see that there is hope and that you aren’t stuck where you are at.
Addictionandsubtraction.com– Jeff, Give us a little background and tell us what led you to where you are now.
Jeff– Well like you Rex, I was a standout athlete in high school, but I never made it to the next level before I had a career ending injury. I played soccer in Virginia Beach and suffered a nasty compound fracture during the third game of my senior year. That was it with soccer. During my recovery from the injury, my doc just kept pumping me full of pain pills. After I was all healed up, those pills stopped coming and I had to find something else to get my fix. That something else was heroin. I was immediately hooked. It completely took over my life. I did anything and everything I could to get my fix. Lie, cheat, steal, it didn’t matter. It eventually cost me my freedom. I spent 2 years in prison for armed robbery and that’s where I sobered up, in prison. When I got out, I decided that I needed a new life. My uncle owned a carpet cleaning company in Nashville, Tn and I moved there and worked for him. I met my wife in Nashville and we relocated to Lexington, Ky for her job and I bought a van and some equipment and started my own company.
A&S– What is your definition of success?
Jeff- To me, success is having peice of mind. I know I am successful because I am not the person I used to be. I am successful because I can provide my family with food, shelter, and love. I know I am succesfull not because of my bank account but because of the people that respect me. There is a lot more to success than money.
A&S- What was the turning point for your life?
Jeff- My second night in prison. I was supposed to spend 5 years in there and on my first night I thought my life was over. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, on the light out of my prison cell window. I felt hopeless. I woke up depressed and went through the whole day planing on ending my life that night. As I laid in my bed and waited for the lights to go out, I remembered something my dad told me before I went in “your past decisions don’t have to affect your future you.” I decided then and there that I was going to be a poster child for that. I started going to NA meetings daily and church services weekly.
A&S-What were some of the biggest things that helped you along your journey?
Jeff- The biggest thing that helped me was developing my relationship with God. I grew up in the church and always believed in God but never had a relationship with him. Once I developed that relationship, I put it all in His hands. It really helped me to know that someone much more powerful was in control of my life now.
A&S- Tell us a little about what your life is like now.
Jeff- My life is freaking awesome if I am totally honest. I have a beautiful, loving wife who is also a great mother to our 2 perfect kids. My business is doing better than ever and I am actually about to expand. But, it wasn’t always this way. When I first got out of prison and was clean, there were a lot of temptations. That is why I had to get out of Virginia Beach.
A&S- Jeff, I really appreciate your time. Any closing thoughts or comments?
Jeff- Absolutely Rex, anytime. I really think the biggest thing I can tell people is don’t lose hope. When I first got sober, all of the problems I was running from where still there. I had to learn to cope with them and you will to. Always remember what my father told me-Your past decisions don’t have to affect the future you. Everyday you wake up is a chance for you to be a new person. I hope anyone who reads this takes this to heart and if I can help one person with this interview, then all the pain and misery I went through will be worth it.