Recovery Spotlight: Chris B

My name is Chris Benner. I’m 31 years old and have finally found hope in a new way of life. I grew up in a home that provided everything I needed financially, a nice house in a nice neighborhood. Everything looked great on the outside; had the stuff, all the friends, I was smart in school, athletic, but I was dying on the inside. My father was an alcoholic. He was very physically and emotionally abusive and my mother was trapped in a situation she didn’t know how to get out of. There were many long nights of abuse and police being called constantly. We would have to leave a lot of times in the middle of the night filled with fear and stay at my grandmothers, but then go to school and pretend like everything was ok. That became a normal practice for me over the course of my life, stuffing feelings and emotions pretending to be fine. As I got older, people started to notice what was going on with the newspaper articles that were written about some of the things my father did.  I was embarrassed and ran to people who had the same problems as me or didn’t care much about my problems. I found alcohol, drugs and a carefree way of life in a sense that was my medicine for all the pain I had been stuffing for so long. I stopped going to school and jumped in headfirst. By the time I was 19 I had already had one child and another on the way and a 4-year prison sentence for possession of drugs and a firearm. My son was born while I was in prison and so was my heroin addiction. I returned from that incarceration with a new level of addiction that drug me around for the next 10 years, In and out of jails and my kids’ lives. A Lot of days I was sticking a needle in my arm over 200 times a day  between cocaine and heroin, I overdosed 6 times that I know of and wrecked vehicles 6 different times and was blind to how bad my life had really become. I knew no other answer other than drugs and alcohol; I was comfortable in jail and prison and not being a father, I couldn’t handle responsibility, I didn’t even know how to communicate with people sober. At the end of my addiction I found myself back in jail 48 hours after my release, lost hopeless and beaten into a state of reasonableness. I was sent to New Horizon treatment center where I was taught how to deal with the pain that had led me to using for so many years.  I worked through a lot of deep-rooted issues and was introduced to a 12-step program that saved my life. I found genuine loving friends that guided me in the right directions and showed me a new way of life. I followed all the suggestions of the program, one of which was taking a leap and going to the Up & Out Sober Living. I was provided guidance and a safe structured environment that helped me learn how to live life the correct way and find happiness. Today I am 480 days alcohol and drug free, I have a relationship with all 3 of my children. I am a good son that my mother doesn’t have to worry and stress if I’m going to die each night. I’m a friend that you can depend on. I work for an amazing company that I can provide for my family today. I have repaired my credit been able to buy a brand-new car all on my own and these are just a few of the main things I’ve accomplished since I decided to let God guide my life. As I grow that relationship stronger each day, I believe the sky’s the limit. #HEISABLE