Matt: What’s going on everybody? This is Matt and Greg with Project Unbroken. Hit that subscribe button, and please share this video. Greg and I are trying to share our experiences about drug addiction and lessons we’ve learned along the way in hopes to help other people out there dealing with the same thing.
We’ve been getting a lot of feedback about one of our videos where Greg talks about what he found to be most important in his recovery. Greg mentioned that the biggest thing for him was separating himself from kind of the people he was hanging around with, anybody basically that was in his life related to his drug addiction.
People have been asking, “My brother and I both use. I want to quit, and my brother doesn’t want to quit,” or, “All my friends use,” or, “People at my job use, so it’s really hard for me to get away from this.” I think we want to dive a little bit deeper into this topic to explain the importance of removing yourself from that situation completely.
I think a lot of people out there may be taking this a little bit lightly, when in fact it is 100% a life or death situation. Greg, what were your first steps into removing yourself from those situations? How did you initiate that break?
Greg: I just broke. I think a lot of times we might feel bad. When you kind of break off something where you’ve been bonding with someone for so long, and drug addicts, they really have a deep bond because you’re in this misery together. Sometimes it’s hard to cut those people off, especially if it’s family or whatever. But, you really seem to bond with other addicts.
I cut everyone. Really, I started from scratch. I had to rebuild my life. I had no one in my life besides family. I had to totally rebuild. One reason I know this is so important is because what I’ve built today. When I came into this gym … We’re shooting at Neon Gym right now at Matt’s Wheelhouse gym … His crossfit gym. When I came in here, I didn’t really know anyone besides Matt.
We hadn’t seen each other in a while, and I had to totally rebuild. I came in, I saw all these positive faces, and people were happy and smiling and in shape. I was looking around, and I’m like, “Shit, man. This is what I want. I want to be happy like this. I want to look good and feel good.” So, I started building towards that.
Now, I’m in a place where I have all positive people around me, people who like to work out, eat right and do positive things. Well guess what? If I even thought about using … If I went to Matt and I was like, “Matt, let’s do some heroin.” He’d be like, “Dude, get the fuck out of here. What are you thinking?” Because I’m putting his recovery at jeopardy. He has a kid, he has a business, he has positive things going on in his life.
If he has anyone around him that is using drugs, it highly increases his chance of starting to use again. If he knows I’m there, and I’m close to him and I slipped and I’m using, well he could be having a bad day and be like, “All right. Just this one time.” He could trick himself again, and he could fall right back into it.
This whole experience has taught me the importance of how important it is to have positive people around you. I don’t want to use, but even if I did want to, I’d know that everyone that’s around me, if I even brought up that idea, they’d be like, “Dude. Bounce. You gotta go.” So, the bonds I’ve created now are kid of helping me stay sober, because I know it’s not an option even further beyond whether I want to do it or not.
Matt: Yeah. I think something really important that Greg is talking about here, and it goes back to the beginning of just starting over completely. You really … You have a new life now. You can’t even really interact with any of the people that you were using with, or that were kind of in those circles of drug use, or drug addiction because they do pose such a threat to driving you back into your old habits.
It’s not that they’re bad people, or anything like that at all. When Greg and I were using together, Greg was my best friend. I knew he wasn’t a bad person, but I also knew at the same time I was never going to find recovery if I kept hanging out with him, or our group of friends at the time. I did the same thing. I started over. I started putting myself in situations where I’d be surrounded by people that were healthy, successful, and living in a positive way.
When you start building that community around yourself, you don’t want anything to threaten that. Using heroin is the number one thing that would bring that house down immediately. Now, Greg and I are both in a place where we’ve started with a blank slate, essentially, and put only positive people in our lives. If heroin was to ever come back into that picture, immediately they would be like, “Heroin? What are you talking about?”
So, it makes it A, it’s not an option; B, it’s never a topic of discussion. People … It would just be so alien to them they wouldn’t know where to start with it, which I think for the success that Greg and I have had in all areas of our life, that’s hugely important. It’s just no longer a topic of discussion in any way, shape or form.
No, it’s not easy at all. Some people that you might have to break ties with could be your best friend. It could be your brother. It could be a family member, anything like that. You’re not doing you or that person, or that group of friends, any favors by staying together and continuing that kind of downward spiral of drug addiction.
Greg: Really, you’re going to have to break those connections. When you’re using, your closest bonds are with other people that use. That’s who’s closest to you in your life at that point. Anyone who wants to get sober, you have to break off who currently is closest to you, which is whoever you’re using with. It has to be done. That’s it, okay? It’s hard for all of us. It may be hard for others where it’s family members and stuff, but it has to be done.
Again, if I had even one person in my life that I know is using heroin, it would almost be an option. I know that the option is there. Although I don’t like the option, and it’s not even a thought right now, well what if I have a bad day and I know the option is there, and I take that option? I’m not taking that chance. So, I just think you can have no one around you that is using, or any type of negative behavior like that.
Matt: No, I agree. You hear the phrase that you are the average of the five people that you spend the most time around. There’s a really big difference between spending your time around people that are kind of stuck in a drug addiction, and whatever behavior that you were doing in the past. Or, maybe people that are leading healthier lifestyles. They have successful relationships, they’re financially doing okay, they’re happy, they’re healthy, etc.
Those two worlds are completely different, and spending time in the more positive one is going to bring you a lot further a lot faster than you think. If you stay in that old group, you’re essentially … You’re not going to be able to get out of it ever. It’s just literally impossible.
Greg: Yeah, definitely. So, make sure you cut them ties. It’s not an easy decision for anyone, but it’s got to be done. Okay? Create positive groups of people around you, and it becomes not even an option. It really does … I think it is definitely the biggest thing for me that has helped me stay sober.
Matt: All right guys. Thank you for watching. If you have any questions or topics that you’d like us to dive into a little bit further, leave a comment, hit us up on the contact section on our website ProjectUnbroken.com, and we look forward to talking to you soon.