All In Or Nothing

My name is Jeff and my sobriety date is October 24, 2017. Being in recovery is having a masters degree in life. In order for me to live the life I live today I had to go through those trials, I had to go through all that turmoil and that heartache. I spent a quarter of my life incarcerated in different institutions, starting at age 11. For as long as I can remember, I couldn’t sit with my own feelings. I realized once I got sober that I had been trying to change that way that I feel for as long as I could remember. The alcohol and drugs were the solution to my problem. A lot of people are in this delusion that they have a drug problem. No, you have a ‘you’ problem, and you use all this other stuff to change the way you feel.

My alcoholism and my drug use drove me so far down that hole that I had absolutely no support. But, going to the prison this last time was the best thing that had ever happened to me. I was an unlicensed dietitian for other inmates. What that means is that my mom sent me college course books in anatomy, kinesiology, and how the body works. For a little under 2 years all I did was study these books. As I was studying these books I would put together diet programs for the inmates to help them lose weight, depending on what sort of money their family was sending them on their commissary. That’s how I made it through prison. I read books, played chess, and jumped rope. When I got out of prison, I started drinking again. The thing is years ago I knew I was a drug addict and alcoholic but I didn’t care because I knew I still had a home. I can burn the world down and I could still come home. It wasn’t until my mom said you can’t come home and that she wanted nothing to do with me. That’s when I started feeling the desperation. I was lucky enough to eventually get scholarshipped into a treatment center. I asked my mentor there if I could stay home for the holidays because I was incarcerated the past several holidays. I’ll never forget this, he said If you go to treatment now and get sober you will never miss another holiday for the rest of your life. He said that they saw something in me.

I didn’t just complete treatment. I got out and God literally gave me my entire life back. I I learned I can’t expect extraordinary results by living an ordinary life. What I’m trying to produce for myself and the community is very extraordinary. 3 years ago I’m living down south. I haven’t picked up a pair of boxing gloves in 11 years. I went to my buddy’s house who was going to get a punching bag at a sports store, where I picked up the gloves. Eventually together we built a gym in his garage. My first client ever told me he wanted to lose weight. He’s down 112 lbs now. Next thing you know, it’s spider webbed. HOA showed up because we had so many clients show up. A client told me that he felt like the black sheep of his family.  It stuck and I developed @BlackSheepBoxing . I moved into another friend’s garage to train, where we again got shut down for too many cars in the driveway. I told my roommates years ago that I would one day own a gym to help people with addiction and mental health. I created my own job title as a Fitness Manager at a treatment center. The results and testimonies were incredible and so rewarding. I was saving every penny. I knew it was going to go towards a gym one day. One of my mentors told me to not worry about money and just give as much as I could until the universe decides to give back. Today, the universe has given back to me ten-fold, and I’m currently opening up my own boxing gym for people in recovery.

Inspiring individuals is what inspires me. You have to tap into it daily. It’s our job to wake up and continue on this path. All in or nothing. At the end of the day it’s so clear what I have to do. For me my God is spirit and positive energy. We are all connected like Avatar. Channeling all that energy and actually putting a smile on peoples face. And through it all, my biggest goal is to remove the stigma around addiction.- Jeff M