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Ricky Ilercil - Case Manager

Ricky Ilercil

Case Manager

Once an innocent little kid who had dreams of becoming a pro baseball player. That turned into a person who struggled to overcome the power of addiction, and I developed into a person who thought being homeless, sitting in a gutter with a needle in my arm or rotting away in a jail cell for the rest of my life was the way to live. Before I got accepted into drug court my life had no meaning. I felt I had no purpose being on this earth anymore.

Eventually the drugs took everything from me except my life. I was burying myself in a grave that I had been digging for all those years I was in my addiction. I couldn’t take it to live another day the way things were going. I always wanted to change but couldn’t find a way out of the vicious cycle I had got myself into. After doing most of my life locked up I knew it was time for a change. I asked to be placed into a program and was offered drug court.

Getting accepted wasn’t easy but something was watching over me. In AA they say, “most alcoholics have to be pretty badly mangled before they really commence to solve their problems”. Well, that was me coming into the drug court program. I didn’t know how to live a “normal life”, but I’ve been brought into a way of living that is infinitely more satisfying, and is surely more useful than the life I lived before. I came into this program willing to do whatever it took to maintain life-long sobriety. In AA they say you have to change one thing, and that is everything.

I was introduced to AA and the 12 steps the second I stepped foot into the recovery program called Woodglen. The people there said to get a sponsor, work the 12 steps, trust god and help others. I had a lot of faith that recovering wasn’t out of reach, because I watched it working in others. I followed directions and jumped into action by getting a sponsor. He is someone I still continuously work with and go to when I need someone to talk to about my sobriety or daily life struggles. I did my step work with my sponsor Craig over the course of the program.

Alcoholics Anonymous has helped go from running my own show, to having faith in a power greater than myself. Now, I have a higher power of my own that I can go to anytime and place and I know He will get me through anything. After completing my steps and filled with knowledge, I sponsor people like myself and get to watch them achieve sobriety as I had. I also continue to carry the message in meetings, by doing panels and at the treatment center I work for just sharing my story.

I am lucky enough to continue giving back what I was taught and finished school to become a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor, so I can help the many others like myself that are still out there and lost in their addiction. Prayer, meditation, working all 12 steps, and helping the next man has changed my life. I was rocketed into the 4th dimension of which I never even dreamed was possible. The 9th step promises that they talk about are real. Not only do I have AA, my fellowship and my sponsor to lean on, but in sobriety I have gained the tools to help me cope with life on life’s terms. I stay active with exercise, being a part of a sober softball team, deep sea fishing, and snowboarding in my free time. Being sober and healthy I can participate in the things I love to do now like fishing, sports and music. I am able to have fun without feeling like I need to get loaded anymore. After working the steps with another man in sobriety I am capable of having the amazing relationships I have in my life today. The thought of relapsing and going back to the life I had before isn’t a thought. I have too many things to look forward to in my life now. I like the people I have in my life and I like the person I am and continuing to work on becoming better every day.

In times I feel weak I have my fellowship, my support system, my dog, and my faith in a higher power to help guide me through anything. I trust that I have a purpose in my life and know that as long as I continue staying sober I can and will get through any challenges. I am grateful for the life I have today and wouldn’t give that up.