Profiles in Recovery

Adam Reynolds

Adam Reynolds used alcohol and pot to numb his emotions and mask his (undiagnosed) mental disorder. “I was manic for years and started my business, working mad hours but then it took over and I could not tame it.” One day this toxic cocktail imploded into a suicidal rant which led to a 3-day stint in the psych ward. Here, he found sobriety for the first time in 20 + years – and a bipolar disorder diagnosis.

Like many people, Reynolds identity was deeply-rooted in his roles: husband, father, business owner. “After discharge, I found the locks changed on my house, office, and no access to my bank. I was lost,” he remembered.

Reynolds checked into a recovery center. “My arms where crossed the first 2 days but then I let down my wall and begin to feel again. I began to cry…a lot… for the first time in years.” He was able to address his childhood trauma and find the underlying causes of his addiction.

“It wasn’t until I addressed my wounds that I learned my purpose”. He offers this insight, “Recovery is finding purpose. Sobriety is not using. The 2 most important days in your life are the day you’re born and the day you find out why. My purpose is to help broken men with my media skills.”

Day Job:
Owner of a video/photo company

What I lost to addiction:
Shame. Drugs, booze, and sex numbed my emotions really well until they stopped making the pain go away and things got really dark.

What worked for me:
A man told me about The Bridge…a recovery center in Bowling Green Kentucky. I did an intake call that day and booked a flight. I remember a shuttle coming to pick me up and taking my last hit off the pipe, slamming a beer and off I went. My arms were crossed the first 2 days but then I let down my wall and begin to feel again. I began to cry…a lot… for the first time in years. Cognitive therapy, empty chair work, meetings, group therapy, 12 step work and finding my higher power changed me forever.

Best advice for newbies:
Do the work. 12 steps, meetings, read books and I recommend at least a 2-week recovery center where you can dive into childhood trauma and take care of the real reason why you use. Your recovery comes first. You can’t clean up without changing your mindset. It is sober and it is recovered. You can white knuckle it for 30 years but having a positive mindset is what I think makes all the difference.

Advice to my younger self:
Nothing. I had to experience all the bad stuff to get here.

Rules I live by:
Play the tape forward. What is the outcome or relapse? More shame.

What I value most in recovery:
I value a quiet mind. I am grateful for my health, children and a beautiful wife that gave me a second chance.

Proudest moment:
Coming clean on all my baggage and no longer using.

Rock bottom moment:
Being totally insane, manic, drinking a 12 pack, high and suicidal telling my wife and kids that daddy needed to be shot in the field like an old dog.

On my bucket list:
Help lost and lonely men. I am a strong believer that it all starts with healthy men and fathers. I want to start a men’s recovery house in the mountains of Colorado. I have buried too many friends because they could not let go of ego.

Favorite recovery quote:
“Pain is good. Extreme pain is extremely good” Mike Ness (Social D)

When cravings come:
Redirect my mind. Meeting. Text a friend

Thoughts on relapse:
I have not relapsed, but I think it can be a very good learning opportunity. People need to make sure they don’t beat themselves up.

At my worst, I was:
3 days in the psych ward finding out I was bi-polar and mentally sick. Sober for the first time in 20+ years. After discharge, I found the locks changed on my house, office, and no access to my bank. I was lost. My identity was wrapped up in being a husband, father, and business owner.

On my schedule today:
Play with kids, work, get outside, workout

What I learned about myself:
Recovery is selfish. The first day of rehab I said I am doing this to get my wife and kids back. They stopped me dead in my tracks and said it’s hopeless. They let me know that recovery is only for me. Whatever happens to other people is what it is. You have to recover for yourself. It changed how I look at recovery. If I look at all my friends who failed at recovery they were doing it to get the wife back and it will not work

How I get through the holidays:
The same way I get through any day. Mindset.

I get inspired by:
I get inspired by music. Positive puck rock, even dark music sung by guys in recovery like Blue Octobers Justin Furstenfeld. Storytellers of addiction. I am inspired by the death of Chester, Chris Cornell, Weiland, Cobain, Dolores from Cranberries, the list goes on, but I am so inspired by the genius minds that drugs take.

What saves me from me:
A quiet mind. Lithium helps a lot for bipolar disorder. It’s a blessing. I was manic for years and started my business working mad hours but then it took over and I could not tame it. It’s nice to sleep and be stable these days. Grace and love helped a lot too.

On finding a purpose:
Recovery is finding purpose. Sobriety is not using. The 2 most important days in your life are the day your born and the day you find out why. My purpose is to help broken men with my media skills.

Shed the Stigma:
If you’re a person in long-term recovery who wants to share your insights, please contact us at [email protected].

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