My name is Jamie White. I am 35 years old and I moved to Asheville at the end of my drinking career in October of 2015. I spent the better part of a decade of my life (my 20s) struggling with drug addiction and alcoholism. I have from an outsider’s perspective hit my rock bottom many times in my life. My true rock bottom came in 2015 while I was living in Detroit, Maine. I went to Maine to yet another program trying to learn to live my life sober. Unfortunately, I never gave those trying to help me at that time a fair chance. I was spiritually bankrupt and had a deep seeded hatred for myself and the life that alcohol and drugs helped me to create. I made a decision that year that I was going to give up. I was just going to stop trying to live sober and die from my disease. Within 3 months I got my wish. I overdosed from heroin and alcohol use on October 14th, 2015. It was an experience that changed my life forever. My heart stopped and I had stopped breathing for about 4 minutes. CPR was administered and I was given Narcan to revive me. After awakening I was taken to the hospital where I realized the true powerlessness over my addiction for the first time. My blood alcohol level was a .3 and after about an hour in the hospital I began to shake and desperately crave the drugs and alcohol that I knew would be taken out of my apartment if I stayed in the hospital overnight. I left the hospital against medical advice and used as soon as I got home. I knew something had to change. I also had a profound realization from this experience. I did not want to die a drug addicted alcoholic. What I truly wanted was to live a life of happy usefulness free of my addiction and alcoholism.
This was a tall order for an addict/alcoholic like me. I had no idea how to accomplish that. I had no idea how to begin to live a sober life. Luckily for me there was hope. I found that hope in 12 Step recovery. After a strange road trip around the country trying to find somewhere I thought I could live safely and attempt recovery, I landed in Asheville, North Carolina. I never planned on staying in Asheville, but God had other plans. I decided to stay when a man agreed to sponsor me and take me through the 12 Steps. My life has never been the same. After a long road and a lot of work into myself; I have become a happy and useful person. I live a life beyond my wildest dreams. I have my relationship back with my family. I am married to a beautiful woman and I have an amazing 2-year-old daughter named Caroline Grace. I found a passion for fitness in my recovery and in 2019 I was ranked 5th in the United States as a 90kg Strongman Competitor. Service to others is a large part of my life. I coach powerlifting for the Special Olympics, and I am one of the founders of a fitness program for athletes with special abilities in the Asheville area. I have served on the board of directors for the Asheville 12 Step club. And I sponsor other men in recovery. Most recently I have returned to school to pursue a master’s degree so that I may better help the clients I serve.
Owning and operating a program for young men to learn how to live their lives sober is a dream realized for me. I hope that I may show our clients that there is hope for them as there was for me. My mission is to help our clients find the same happiness, joy and freedom that I have found in sobriety and in life through the 12 steps. The gratitude I feel to be able to contribute to the lives of these young men is immense. The path of alcoholism and addiction is a path I did not intentionally choose for myself. But today in recovery I would not change a thing. I am right where I am supposed to be and grateful to be doing exactly what I am intended to do.