Four years ago, after police had just arrested Jason Wickline for manufacturing methamphetamine, Child Protective Services took away his son, Krystian. As they were walking him to the car, the boy turned to Jason and said, ‘Daddy, I love you and I’ll never forget you.’ He was four and thought he would never see his father again. The single dad broke down, bawling his eyes out. At that point, Jason didn’t know what was going to happen to his kid.

Not many can recover from such a low point. But Jason did. And he’s sharing his story to inspire others like him.

Image credits: Jason Wickline

Image credits: Jason Wickline

“I struggled with drugs most of my adult life (17 years) and started using regularly around age 20,” Wickline told Bored Panda. “My addiction really kicked in after a back injury when I was prescribed opiate pain killers.”

Image credits: Jason Wickline

Even though Wickline was terrified, he also felt a sense of relief. He had been in and out of jail for about 15 years. He said he knew his life was never going to be the same again, realizing that the insanity that had been living in him was finally over.

Image credits: Jason Wickline

After a judge offered Wickline the opportunity to go to long-term treatment, he instantly took it. The man had spent 13 months there, and shortly after, he appeared in court for sentencing.

He was facing 6 to 30 years.

However, Wickline was sentenced to just 30 months probation — on the condition that he stayed sober and find suitable housing.

Which is exactly what Wickline did.

Image credits: Jason Wickline

Looking back, Wickline described his former self as an empty person, without purpose and care for others or himself. “My addiction took over my life,” he said. “I lost absolutely everything. When I walked into rehab, I literally had the clothes on my back.”

Image credits: Jason Wickline

Eventually, Wickline regained custody of his now 9-year-old son, and has become a symbol of hope after participating in the recovery challenge on social media. He credited all of this to intensive long term inpatient treatment. “I drew strength from the others I met in treatment who had been where I had been and hurt the way I had hurt and had come out of it,” the man explained. “The treatment center I went to was a peer-driven recovery model where all employees were former clients.”

Image credits: Jason Wickline

Now, Wickline attends regular meetings and volunteers at treatment programs. He said he has never felt more alive.

“Life doesn’t happen to us, it happens around us and it’s up to us [to figure out] how we respond to what life may throw at us. The most important thing about my recovery today is it gives me the chance to give back to those that are right where I once was and to show them that they are not alone.”

Image credits: Jason Wickline

Other recovering addicts also shared their stories

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