Bill C. of Southern California gives this talk in Tempe, Arizona, at the 2013 Heroin Anonymous event “Change for Change.” The purpose of the event was to raise money for the first HA world convention, which was held in Scottsdale in 2014.

Heroin Anonymous was just 9 years old at the time Bill gave this talk. Bill, on the other hand, was 28 years sober.

Bill started drinking at age 14, and it quickly became a lifestyle for him. By 17 he was a “bad drunk” who carried a gun and had been to jail. By the time he was wound up in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous in 1985, he was a hopeless drug addict suffering from Hep C, convinced that his life was over.

Bill goes on to say that when he first got to recovery, he was “emotionally immature” and was here just to save himself. “But if you hang around long enough, it turns into something else. It turns into true compassion, and you really try to save lives.”

He no longer sees the world as a dark place. “We live here,” he says. “We live in a place where people’s lives are saved every day—by us. We are what God uses to save the souls of the children. As flawed as we are, God uses us.”

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