Hi, my name is Jon and I began my journey in long-term recovery from substance-use disorder in November of 2009. The longest period of uninterrupted recovery I’ve had has been since July 28th. I’m a graphic and web designer, a musician, a DJ, a movie lover, a dog lover and a committed agnostic with a light dusting of faith – or as I like to tell people, “A little bit Christian, a little bit rock and roll.”

I’ve chosen not to be anonymous about my illness because I understand the deafening silence which surrounds it, and which causes millions not to seek necessary treatment. I choose to be a beacon rather than a lighting rod, an example rather than a cautionary tale.

Life wasn’t always like this for me. I grew up in a stable family that ultimately ended in trauma, and dealt with a lifelong anxiety disorder that went untreated. My first solutions to these difficulties came in the form of art, design and music – solutions I still rely on today. Later my solutions took the form of mind-altering substances, ever-present in the realm of the arts and certainly in rock and electronic music. They became the albatross around my neck. In that state I was helpless and broken.

After I embraced recovery, I realized that the only way around is through. I had to go back to my childhood trauma, to my anxiety, and discover new solutions. I had to look at the behaviors I engaged in while in active addiction and come to terms with them. In the process, I’ve become a more courageous, more outgoing and more loving person than I ever thought possible. I have real confidence in my choices today. I’m a better musician, artist and performer than at any time before.

The only way forward for me is to help the next person. Total strangers came to my aid when I was in need. They used the gifts they had been given to lift me out of my own misery. I will now joyfully use my gifts of art and music to help others who struggle with this illness. Today, it is my purpose.

This is My Last Stand™.

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