So many people are majorly focused on the process of recovery and the short time after it. This makes it easy to overlook the amazing impact that comes after a person recovers. Michael Dadashi’s story is not just one of recovery. It is one of how addiction tears people and families apart, but recovery can bring everyone back together and leave that person a stronger version of themselves. For anyone who is wondering whether or not the arduous journey to sobriety is worth it, I urge you to read Michael’s story and begin to see how many lives you can touch once you make the leap. Here is Michael’s powerful story in his own words:
“As a young teen I started feeling a void in my life ‘an unquenchable thirst’, which I tried to fill with friends and popularity. This did not work for long and by time I was 15 years old, I discovered alcohol. I felt like I had found the solution to my emptiness, something to fill my void on demand. I quickly progressed to Oxycontin and then to Heroin because it was cheaper and easier to obtain. By this time, I knew I was addicted, but I could not stop. I was in and out of rehabs and hospitals, at one point nearly dying of a heart infection. During this 10-year period I was a tornado in my family’s life. Eventually, drugs could no longer fill the void I was feeling, and my life flashed before my eyes. My life consisted of intense highs and incredibly deep lows. I soon discovered that the highs would never equal out the lows. I threw in the towel and pursued sobriety with a vengeance. I completed yet another rehab and to the external world things looked great. But I knew it was only a façade, because I still felt a tremendous void in my life. I relapsed after 9 months, and my self-esteem had reached an all-time low. I had done so well. I was on my way to sobriety, and now I felt like I had wasted a bunch of my time and the time of those who got me to this point. There were so many horrible things that came from drug habit, but the worst feeling by far was knowing that I was letting everyone I loved down.
Finally on July 20th, 2009, while high, I had this spiritual experience. The desire to use was lifted. All the years of lessons learned in treatment finally came together for me. I needed to honestly and wholeheartedly seek recovery with the desperation of a drowning man. I became obsessed with being of service to others. The spiritual awakening was finally realizing that my purpose was to share my story to help others. The façade was shattered! I didn’t care what people thought of me. I could finally be present to the moment, be authentic and transparent.
My design for living is volunteering at local detox centers and hospitals, sharing my story. This is where the magic happens, when people connect heart to heart. It doesn’t matter where you are from or what your circumstances are: the heart is always the same; the human condition is the same. People constantly tell me, “Michael, you told my story. You have walked in my footsteps.” With service and sharing, I finally experienced the riches of the heart that you can’t put a price tag on. And the more I give away, the more my heart fills up. I finally found a way to quench that seemingly unquenchable thirst, and now my darkest past has become my greatest asset.”
Now Michael has become a founder of a company called HeartWater which is focused on creating authentic bonds between people through them genuinely sharing their stories. Michael hopes that as more people pour their hearts out about their struggle that they can encourage others to make positive life changes. According to Michael, “Nobody on this planet can help someone like a person who has went through something similar.” With that thought in mind Michael hopes to the make world a better place one story at a time.