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My name is Juan Antonio Gomez... here is my inspiring story!

Posted by Juan Antonio Gomez on 23rd Oct 2014

My name is Juan Antonio Gomez; however all of my family, friends and co-workers know me as “Tony”. I was born March 13, 1975, in a beautiful little town called San Miguel De Allende in the state of Guanajuato Mexico. I have a large traditional Mexican family who are all very loving and caring., thankfully both of my parents are still alive and I have three siblings two older and one younger. When I was six months old my parents along with my two older siblings made the trip to this country seeking a better life, I was left behind to be raised by my maternal grandparents. When I turned eight years old I too made the journey to this country and met my family for the first time, the entire process of moving from one family to another was very traumatic for me thus began my need to numb myself in any way possible. At age 10 I began to drink alcohol easily influenced by the older kids in the neighborhood; all I wanted was to fit in. My parents were hardly around so I had very little structure and supervisionwhile growing up. By age 14 I had spiraled down to heavier substances, I dropped out of school and enrolled into the streets of Fan Fernando Valley coupled with life of sadness and destitute for normality. By age 20 I was a full blown alcoholic and drug addict pushing away all that was good in my life. I lived in alleys and hotels using all means possible to survive, I grabbed hold of everyone I could manipulate and turned them into hostages. I became angry and used that anger to continue living destructively full of fear and shame. I blamed the world for my problems but most of all I blamed my parents for not being there, this went on until I had obliterated all that was pure in me. At age 33 I was tired, broken and empty inside I could not go on existing the way I did and all I wanted was a quick death. With the little bit of hope I still had within me I asked for help! Not from another person but from something beyond that, greater than that. My prayer was answered in the form of a total stranger who I only knew as “Mike” I had never seen him before and I have never seen him since, I wish I could remember what he looked like. Mike made sure I went into treatment that very day July 21, 2008, he stayed with me through the intake process and upon being admitted gave me a hug as if he knew me. Mike whispered into my ear “I know you’re going to make it” . I have been clean and sober since and till this day I look for Mike in the sea of faces I encounter every day, maybe I will never find him again, maybe he returned to that beyond I called upon when I cried for help and has rightfully claimed his wings. Today I am a counselor at that very treatment center where I was once a client; I am of service to those who come in seeking help like I did. I have been given a second chance and I have chosen to keep the miracle moving forward. I am currently enrolled in Los Angeles City College studying to get my certificate in Drug and Alcohol Counseling, my goal is to continue my education and earn a degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis on child development and help as many children as possible before they too experience what I did as a young scared lonely child. There is a quote that I live by on a daily basis it says:

“Shoot for the moon and if you miss know in your heart that you will hit the stars”

Thank you,
Tony.