Hey friends, I'm Jesse, the @sobervoyager.
Never in my wildest dreams did I envision one day living in a van, cruising around American, living a pretty epic life, SOBER.
When I was 25 years young, I surrendered myself over to the program. Fast forward three years to the date from when I had my last drink of Alcohol, I chose to move in a different direction, far from the norm. I wanted to cultivate hope for others. I wanted to create a company, a foundation that could invest in others the same way a stranger once invested in me.
I was your typical all-American boy. I grew up playing many sports, riding my bike around the neighborhood, and making up dumb games with my childhood friends. For the most part, school came easy and on the surface, I had nothing that could have held me back from living the life I always dreamt of living.
I'm thankful that unlike so many individuals that come from broken families I never once had to experience what it was like to arrive back home to just one parent. I can proudly call my parents both my hero's and my best friends. I went on to play sports in college and walked right into a wonderful opportunity after receiving my degree.
Unfortualnlly, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. My life was built on a lie. A life lived in doubt and fear.
On the surface, I was a happy go lucky kid, living my life, but like so many other individuals who stay silent, I can relate to the #METOO movement.
Although I didn't fully understand what happened to me in my early childhood, I was completely aware of how it made me feel inside. Scared and ashamed of what had transpired in my youth, I found it easier to cope with my feeling by escaping into a dark an lonely place behind the bottle.
I became a habitual liar and refused to allow anyone into my life. I spent the better part of my young life running from my story, powerless to my disease. Afraid to ask for help, I forgot how to live my life without a drink in my hand. With friendships and employment opportunities lost, ongoing legal troubles piling up, and terrified to move in any direction, I landed at rock bottom, shovel in hand, desperate.
By the time I was in my early twenties, I had become utterly powerless over my own choices. In five short years, I was arrested for multiple DUI's and spent countless nights behind the bars of different jail cells. My downward spiral towards rock bottom took me nearly ten years from my life.
On the morning of April 16, 2014, I woke up on the cold concrete floor of the Hamilton Co. jail cell. Confused how I had arrived this time, I found myself depressed, broke, lonely and scared; I walked into my first AA Room only 24 hours after being released from jail.
As fate would have it, it was a complete stranger that walked into my life to help guide me towards the tools I would need to regain back my life. It was his story, his years of sobriety that opened up my eyes towards the life that I didn't know was possible to live.
I don’t know how this sobriety thing works; I just know that it does for me. Now more than three years in active recovery, I am living a life I never thought was possible without having a drink in my hand. I wouldn't wish my story on my worst enemy, nor would I trade it for the life of me.
Each day I am blessed to have a new opportunity to do something great. Each day is a reminder to myself that the most challenging obstacle I will face is avoiding my very first drink.
They say knowledge is power, and I learned both how to arrive at rock bottom, and how to avoid that dark and lonely space I spent many years exploring.
I view my story, and my disease as my greatest asset in life, not a weakness.
On April 16, 2017, coinciding with three years of recovery, I walked away from the life that I had reclaimed through my sobriety. Once terrified to live my life, I am made a promise to myself to travel and see this world in sobriety.
They say not all those who wander are lost, well I was lost, but through my friends and family, my higher power, and a lot of recovery work, I am now on a path to live out the best years of my life.
I am just one man in a van, traveling across the country, visiting different recovery events, walks, and meetings, including a few bucket list items.
I now aspire to inspire others who are currently walking down the same path that I once walked, and I do that best through my company, A.D.R and THE MOCKTAIL PROJECT, a movement I started to help craft a safer, more inclusive drinking culture.
I have come to the belief that the best investment in life is, investing our time and resources in other human beings.
Jesse - Life of the Sober Voyager
Mocktail & Coffee Enthusiast #themocktailproject