Admittedly, Will Malicote had an idealist childhood. He came from a loving family, plenty of friends, attended church, a private education and earned straight A’s. As a young adult he had the job, the girl and the money. Outwardly, he lived a life many would say was perfect. Inwardly, he struggled with deep seeded insecurities, never reaching a level of perfection he found acceptable.
After becoming addicted to opiates, Malicote found himself “overweight, depressed, and completely lost”. His first time in treatment didn’t work. It was a month later, when he hit rock bottom after a heroin overdose, that he decided to “completely let go of the reigns and had others who had recovered successfully call the shot”. Malicote knew to be successful in his recovery he needed to start a fresh start.
In just over one year’s time, Malicote has completely transformed his life and taken back the reigns. He started Malicote Fitness, providing personal training both online and in person, corporate wellness, fitness to fit your lifestyle and keto kreative.
Will Malicote has a simple message – “Accept and own your struggle. Embrace change and lean into the love of others around you. Your best life is born out of intense struggle and taking action to implement daily, sustainable change.”
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Owner and Head Trainer of Malicote Fitness
What I lost to addiction:
I lost jobs, friends, and romantic relationships. I lost all my hobbies I grew up loving. I found myself overweight, depressed and completely lost. Most notably, I lost my self-worth, the ability to love myself, and my identity as a whole.
What worked for me:
What worked for me was experiencing enough unmitigated pain as a direct result of my addiction before finally have the willingness to give up absolutely everything in hopes of a new life. I completely let go of the reigns and had others who had recovered successfully call the shots on my life. I dropped the girl and job I was so proud of, went back to a 12-step based treatment center for 30 days, then moved into a sober living house in an entirely new city. Starting my new life from complete scratch was key.
Best advice for newbies:
Give up on what you think is best for you at this time and allow someone who is much further along in their recovery to make the big decisions for you. Do your best to follow their suggestions. Choose success. Do things that make you feel uncomfortable.
Advice to my younger self:
It’s ok to be imperfect and vulnerable. Actually, there’s exponentially more power in accepting imperfection and vulnerability. Even on your worst days, you have intrinsic value, and you have an immense amount to offer the world. You must love yourself before you can truly love anyone or anything else.
Rules I live by:
If I don’t have my recovery, I don’t have anything. As long as I love myself and love others around me, I will always be taken care of. Success is a daily, often momentary, choice.
What I value most in recovery:
I value how drastically my relationship with my family has changed and the positive personal transformations they’ve experienced. I value the massive number of true friends I have both within and outside of recovery. I most value the opportunity to own my story and use it to help a lot of other people.
Getting to travel with my family to see my younger brother get his white coat for medical school. Starting my first business a year into sobriety. Witnessing my clients not only reach their fitness goals but become the best version of themselves physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Stigma I faced:
Everyone outside of recovery appears to be in total shock when I tell them my story. Most people very much appreciate it, but a few have run from it. I went on a few dates with a girl last fall. Everything was going great until I told her that I was in recovery, and she stopped talking to me. Oh well, this life certainly isn’t for everyone.
Rock bottom moment:
Watching my mom and dad walk into my hospital room after overdosing on heroin and having to be revived after I was in in-patient treatment for 3 months just a month prior. My younger brother telling me that he had already reconciled with himself that I was going to die from addiction.
On my bucket list:
Build a worldwide fitness/wellness brand that helps to end the stigma of addiction and mental health issues in general. Go skydiving in the Florida Keys. Watch the University of Kentucky win a basketball national championship in person with my brother and Dad.
When cravings come:
I am grateful to say that the cravings stopped entirely after being intentional about my spiritual recovery and committing to working the 12 steps of AA with my sponsor. Taking a monthly Vivitrol injection helped quite a bit during the first few months of recovery as well.
Thoughts on relapse:
Relapse is a part of my story but does not have to be a part of yours. I can’t stand when people say that relapse is a natural part of recovery and make it seem almost like an inevitability. That sort of mindset has killed two of my friends in the last year.
At my worst:
My day-to-day “worst” was me desperately trying to maintain the outward appearance that everything in my life was ok – the job, the girlfriend, the money – while spending all time, money, and effort on opiates. At my absolute worst, I was lying lifeless, overdosed on my girlfriend’s couch on February 15th, 2017.
On my schedule today:
Wake up and pray that God guides and direct me throughout the day. Make a concise and measurable to-do list (no more than 4 items). Meet someone new, try something new, and learn something new. Do the things that make me feel most uncomfortable first.
What I learned about myself:
I am worthy of my own and others’ love. I am uniquely talented and have a lot to offer the world. I am ridiculously resilient. My story of addiction and recovery has turned from “my greatest weakness” to my greatest asset.
I get inspired by:
Hearing others’ comeback stories. Hearing about others starting at ground zero and doing amazing things.
What saves me from me:
Staying connected and open with those in my close circle of friends
On finding purpose:
Commit to change. Learn to love yourself and love others. Then, your purpose will neatly reveal itself.
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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