Our alumni programs aim to give our patients a sense of community and support in the hopes of making the path to recovery a little easier. It’s one thing to gain knowledge and groundwork from a clinician and an entirely different experience to gain it from a peer; someone who has really been there and knows first-hand what you are going through; intro Evan.
From the moment you meet Evan, you are immediately put at ease. He has a smile that is contagious, and he radiates warmth. Determined, compassionate, and inviting are just a few of the words that can be used to describe him. It’s no wonder that he was chosen to be our Illinois Alumni Ambassador.
What was the defining moment that made you want to get help?
The moment I decided I needed to get help was after I attempted to take my own life. I remember even though I hated my current state of life I still wanted to live. I knew I had to give up drugs and alcohol in order to do that.
What motivates you to stay sober?
At this point what really motivates me to stay sober is losing so many friends to their battle with addiction. I feel I owe it to them to keep fighting.
How did you overcome triggers when you were newly sober?
I would say talking to people about cravings and urges to use. Also at my sober living facility, I would surrender my cash and debit card because I didn’t trust myself. Lastly, I carried my 1 month AA coin, because that was the most sobriety I had since I started using.
To those that are new to recovery, what advice would you give them?
Keep it simple. Go to meetings develop a sober support network, talk about what’s going on with other alcoholics and addicts, attend some sober support group (it doesn’t have to be 12-step recovery) but something, and make sobriety your number one priority.
Do you have a motto or mantra you live by?
I do and I got it from Eric Thomas a motivational speaker. “When your why becomes bigger than your excuse you will succeed. Also “Be the change you want to see in others”.
If you could be any superhero, who would you be?
I’ve always gravitated towards superhero’s who were ordinary people who did extraordinary things. Like Batman, The Green Arrow, and The Punisher. But if I had to pick one I’d go with Batman.
Lastly, what would you want to say to those who are in active addiction?
No matter how far you have gone down the rabbit hole of addiction it is possible to recover. We do recover and life gets so much better! Trust me.