This powerful, emotional story comes from Ivan M., speaking at a 2012 convention of Cocaine Anonymous. Ivan was born in Uganda, East Africa, to an alcoholic single mother, and his disease took root at an early age.

From the earliest days he can recall, Ivan remembers thinking, “I’m nothing, I’ll never amount to anything, I’m a bastard, I’m a love child, no one wants me… of and by myself, I’m not sufficient to belong on this planet, of and by myself, I don’t fit in.” At his core, before he ever picked up a drink or a drug, he believes he suffered from a basic maladjustment toward life.

Ivan goes on to tell the story of his descent into addiction and the miraculous story of his recovery. “This is a place where miracles happen,” he says. “And I don’t have the words, the diction, the vocabulary to adequately express what God and this fellowship have done in my life.”

Not only did Ivan get sober, but so did his mother, who at one point he did not speak to for five years. “Recovery gave me back my mother, and recovery gave my mother back her son,” he says.

Today, Ivan dreams of being a man rich in character, not of material wealth. He believes God picked him up and told his angels, “Give him life, give him hope, give him his family, give him integrity, give him honor, make him rich in all the ways that money can’t buy, give him a life beyond his wildest dreams.” And it was so. Listen to this powerful message of hope and recovery.

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