Addiction, Death and Recovery: My Purpose Driven Life

Gina Gomez
Tell us about your (or your loved one's) recovery journey. What has been the most rewarding part?

On 9/26/19, God willing, I will be one year sober from active addiction. On 9/11/18 last year, I found my youngest son dead of an overdose at 25 in his apartment. I was already about to enter residential treatment for my own long struggle with addiction. That kicked my already spiraling substance use in to even higher gear. I went in to residential treatment nine days after I gave his eulogy. I stayed in residential treatment for over three months, then did 3 1/2 months of intensive outpatient therapy. I have PTSD from finding him. He had been dead two days when I found him. One year ago, I wanted to die. My family would not let me use the restroom or shower alone. They took my keys. They were afraid I would kill myself. I would have. Today I live a balanced, meaningful life in recovery. My higher power, sponsor, working steps, meetings, being of service and giving back, have helped lay my foundation for a life free from active addiction. Between my intensive treatment, my work with Shatterproof as an ambassador, my public speaking to adults in recovery, as well as school children, I have found myself living a wholehearted, purpose-driven life. I have found the ability to help others by sharing mine and my families nightmare to bring experience, hope, and strength to others. My other son is now in inpatient treatment beginning his journey and grateful for recovery. I am now a mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, and friend I can be proud of again. My life's passion now is spreading hope, awareness, and education to others. I live my life in the core principles gained through an active recovery program. I have found a way to honor my son. I have found the way to light the path for others who have given up, which lights my path for my recovery to continue to flourish. I am honored to be an Alumni of an esteemed treatment center in Riverside County, and am now on the board of directors making change for future patients, and working with community outreach. I am honored to be an Ambassador with Shatterproof, an organization that works tirelessly to make change through awareness, education, and legislation. In honor of Celebrate Recovery Month, I want to share mine and my son's story so that others may benefit from it.

Do you have a message for the Shatterproof community?

We all need to continue to work to make change through awareness and legislation so that our communities and local and federal government start to understand the disease of addiction and the importance and value of recovery, to start to change the generations now currently being destroyed. A life in recovery is beautiful, hopeful, and joyous, and giving back makes it that much better.