Can the gang lifestyle be just as addictive as the drugs?
Today we have Daniel Herron on The SHAIR podcast. He is a recovery advocate and has his own podcast called Released into Captivity: Hope After the Cage.
Daniel served 10 years for armed robbery and was released in 2010. He lived a crazy life a drug abuse and crime that lead him to the bottom multiple times. No matter what, he couldn’t resist the lure of the underworld and this prevented him from ever getting clean.
After one last bad run that led him to getting arrested again, he received another gift of desperation. Now he is living sober, attending NA, and working in recovery advocacy.
CLEAN DATE: May 17th, 2017
Listen to Daniel’s story now!
Here are a few highlights from our interview. To get the full story please join us on the podcast now!
Before Daniel’s feet hit the ground, he tries to start with the attitude of gratitude. He thanks God for the roof over his head and the fact that he does not have to take a dump in the morning with five other dudes like he did when he was in prison.
There are plenty of things in my life to be thankful for.
Then Daniel picks up his bible and reads Proverbs. He also likes to read Just for Today. He uses his morning time for devotion, prayer, and meditation and practices at least ten minutes a day of mindfulness with the Calm app.
Though the monkey’s off my back, the circus is still in town.
Daniel started an exercise program, but he knows he has tendency to go to the extreme so he has tapered his workout to some pushups and 30 minutes of cardio. He runs his own lucrative business as an audio/video equipment programmer. Daniel goes to a meeting a day and also does advocacy work for criminal justice.
You’ve got to get down on your knees or things can go bad fast.
Daniel has a spot reserved in his room where he sits and practices his meditation. Having a special space to make his spiritual connection is a ritual that gets his mind ready. It’s a place where he can become cognizant of his thoughts.
Sometimes he gets into a mindfulness groove where he just wants to keep going. On these days he feels like it’s God preparing him for an extra challenging day. He remembers someone telling him that when everything goes right and you don’t use, it’s a good day. But if everything goes wrong and you don’t use, that’s a great day. His Daily Routine and Spiritual Connection prepare him to handle anything.
Daniel has a good education and a gift of memory that made school easy for him. He tested out of high school and started junior college at the age of sixteen. A month into his schooling there, he woke up in the hospital. A kid he went to school with T-boned him and Daniel suffered severe head trauma. His special gift of memory that he had leaned on all his life was gone.
From then on, school was challenging. Daniel sought a new place of validation, and that was in the drug life. He started using and selling marijuana. Bags turned into ounces. Ounces turned into pounds. He was against using needles or snorting powder, but he didn’t have any problems smoking. He eventually graduated from weed to meth.
Daniel got involved in gangs and did some drug runs. Many times he wanted to quit, but he couldn’t stay away from his friends and the underworld bravado. Even with the strong spiritual background he got from his mother, he was ashamed of what he had become and hid from her.
David knows now that his tough guy act was all rooted in fear. Criminal thinking, gangs, and drugs were all an effort to be part of something. The reality was that it was all a lie that would only lead to jails, institutions, or death.
One day he was out of money and decided he would rob a bank, and he did. He didn’t get away with much money, but he got a taste for the adrenaline rush. He made plans to rob more, but he ran into a girl who was his old partner in crime. They both decided to rob a restaurant together. They got into a car crash as they tried to make a getaway. Daniel would go to prison for ten years. He traded his life for $350.
What kept Daniel from getting clean?
Daniel thought he could still hang with his old friends and stay clean. This always ended up in relapse.
People, places, or things. Not being willing to make those clean breaks.
Daniel remembers his spiritual awakening in the first meeting he ever went to. It was the first time he was given the gift of desperation. He would have never set a foot in a meeting otherwise.
He read the steps on the wall and experienced an aha moment when he realized that a power greater than himself could restore him even though he was crazy. He was in a room full of people who looked sane to him, and they all used to be grimy addicts. This is when he knew he could recover too.
I’m a bible guy.
Daniel also recommends Drop the Rock, The Big Book, and a practical guide by Joseph Sharp called Quitting Crystal Meth.
Daniel recommends sticking with the herd. You’re vulnerable when you’re outside the herd. He also urges those new in recovery that easy does it, and no matter what, don’t pick up unless it’s the phone to call someone.
In early recovery, keep it simple, stick to the basics.
Suggestion for Newcomer
Recovery is not easy. Daniel says if it’s easy, you’re doing something wrong. He shares words advice that were given to him once by a girl in recovery. He’ll never forget them. They are very simple:
Do the steps or die motherf*cker.
See you then!
If you would like to Donate to The SHAIR Podcast you can do so using PayPal! The entire amount of your donation will go towards maintaining and growing the show.
To Donate now click on the Donate Button below!
Disclaimer – The opinions shared on this show reflect those of the individual speaker and not of any 12 step fellowship as a whole and though we discuss 12 step recovery and the impact it has had in our lives we do not promote or endorse any 12 step anonymous program.