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Giving Hearts Day: Brandon's Story

“So I guess where to start? My name is Brandon, I am 39 years old. This last September I hit seven years of sobriety.”

Brandon was legally adopted by his grandparents as a child, as both of his parents struggled with addiction. As a child, he didn’t want to be around drugs and alcohol, and was active in sports and student organizations.

“I was in a bad accident when I was 18, I was driving and my girlfriend was in the passenger’s seat. No drugs or alcohol were involved, it was just a terrible accident, but my girlfriend did not survive. I actually blamed myself for the accident until seven years ago. It lead to very severe depression, anxiety, and PTSD.”

Brandon worked in bars for 10 years, and at first he was able to fight the urge to drink, but being surrounded by alcohol and coworkers who liked to party made it difficult. A girlfriend introduced him to marijuana, which for him was a gateway into other drugs. When he wasn't able to find marijuana, he turned to synthetic marijuana, bath salts, or meth. After he had surgery, he was prescribed opioids.

“I thought pain meds were the greatest thing put on this earth. I had been to about 10 treatments before I finally found Heartview. I was just sick and tired of being sick and tired. I overdosed multiple times, with one being so bad that I was in a coma for 30 days. When I woke up and was discharged from the hospital I went right back to using. At that point in my life I didn’t care what happened to me. I was probably two weeks into treatment when I decided it was finally time to stop. I was able to forgive myself for the accident. I knew if I didn’t change my life I was either going to go to prison or end up dead from an overdose. What finally worked for me was my treatment team at Heartview and the help of medication assisted treatment.”

“For the first time in my life I have been able to hold down a job and I love it. I work at a library in Western ND with three older ladies and they have been a huge part of my sobriety. I can talk to them about anything without judgment.”

Within the last few months, Brandon has also quit smoking cigarettes. His local church has been a huge part of maintaining his sobriety, and he considers the pastor and his wife two of his closest friends. Brandon’s mom is now sober and he spends a lot of time with his mom and grandma.

“If my story helps at least one person, then I feel like my sobriety is a complete success.”

This Giving Hearts Day, you can help people like Brandon get their lives back. Early giving is open using the links below: