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Daniel Wittler

Verona, NJ, USA


I grew up in Essex County in the beautiful suburbs of a 2 square mile town. I grew up with two great parents who made it possible for me to have a very good childhood. I remember throughout high school I had a staunch fear of any kind of drug and was very convinced they could ruin peoples lives. I went through all of high school without touching a single drug. Once I was a free man in college however, the second someone put a joint in front of my face I happily accepted. I suppose it was because I was no longer under the watch of my parents, I all of a sudden saw nothing harmful with smoking a joint. As soon as I did, I fell in love with getting stoned, I wanted to be stoned all day and night. I had no ideas I was about to go down the darkest path of my life for the next eight years.

I lasted in college for only a couple years, I smoked weed and never went to class. I moved back home to my mom's basement and felt like a giant failure. Not only that but I now had a drug habit. One night, a friend of a friend had Percocet, asked if I wanted any, and after some debate in my head, I finally agreed. Weed was just not doing its job anymore. Once I took that first pill my life had changed forever. I became a complete drug addict scheming and doing whatever necessary to get what I needed. My family and friends suffered from my lifestyle and of course, I did as well. I lasted a couple of years until my first treatment center at age 21. I was so ignorant in thinking I knew what I had to do and that’s exactly what kept me from getting sober. I wasn’t ready to listen to someone else's ideas of how I should live. I listened to my own and things never went well for me when I did that.

I truly believe no one is ready to get sober until they hit a genuine bottom. My bottom occurred after getting fired from my father’s company, breaking his heart. About 6 months later he died of a heart attack. We were not on good terms, it made me completely hopeless and I felt like it was my destiny to be a failure forever. I had one more opportunity to go to treatment. Looking back I am grateful for how broken I was upon entering treatment because I finally decided to listen to others. I was so tired of thinking I knew what was best for me. Listening to someone else finally truly saved my life.

While in treatment I had so much guilt about losing my father after really hurting him for getting fired from his job that I made the realization that the only way I could live with myself was if I honored my father and that’s just what I did. I began to take the actions to live the life he had always wanted for me, that simple idea gave me amazing motivation and continues to. If there is one piece of advice I can give to anyone looking to enter recovery, it is to be quiet and start following other people's guidance who know better. It will change your life.

Daniel Wittler is a writer and outreach coordinator for Stodzy Internet Marketing ( He likes to share his experience to show others anyone can get sober provided they are ready to take action.