When Aron Ross found himself homeless in West Hollywood the reality hit him hard as he reflected on the sacrifices he made for his meth habit. He left a stable job that afforded luxuries and comfort because he chose drugs over everything else. A lesson learned from his parents who kicked him out of the house when he was only fifteen. They too had chosen crystal meth over everything else, including their son.
Being homeless again at twenty six, Aron realized he had a problem with drugs. He went into rehab but resisted along the way, holding onto his own ideas about how his life should be lived. “That kind of resistance makes getting sober very challenging,” he continued, “Don’t get me wrong. In my opinion, you can be resistant and stay sober, but it’s so much harder. Resistance increased the climb.”
In rehab, Aron discovered something about himself, he’s an addict and drugs and alcohol affect him differently. He can’t stop and admits he loses the ability to make choices when he uses anything in any form or quantity. “It’s like someone else comes aboard. I’m a different person and I can’t stop myself.” So Ross decided to quit fighting and surrendered his will to the program he was in. Like many others in rehab, trying to get sober for the first time wasn’t easy and he relapsed.
Three and a half years after getting clean and sober, Aron moved to New York City to “follow his dreams” of being on stage. After years of sobriety he sought the familiar, illusive desires of his addiction masked in the guise of success as a “showgirl,” as he puts it.
In NYC he avoided support systems and focused on his self-will and the shame that comes with the relentless desire to self-destruct. Aron did what he was accustomed to, he reached out for the pipe and it reached back like a friend falling from a cliff. With the same desperation he lost himself again and struggled to regain sobriety for a year and a half. “I know what it feels like to use the program as a waiting room. The revolving door that only leads to misery.”
Homeless and unemployed once again, Aron found himself in a hotel thinking this was all his life was ever going to be, if he was lucky. He had a little bit of money and a handful of drugs but the reality of his situation was crystal clear. He had to get it together or this was the best it was ever going to get, maybe the last good day he would have and that wasn’t saying much.
“Life has a way of beating reason into you or it breaks you completely.” So Aron moved back to Los Angeles and reentered rehab at the McIntyre House where he decided to do things different. He decided to work, “someone else’s program,” instead of his own small doses of the life he wanted to live. It was a tough program and scared some sense into him and that’s exactly what he needed to get sober again.
Aron admits he’s learned to ask for help and has made a commitment to himself to stay sober. It’s the hardest thing for someone to do when they’ve been running their own show, but Ross has become comfortable being part of the cast he calls his new, happy life.
Aron Ross has learned he has to remember what it was like to be homeless, miserable and sad. He believes addiction is a disease of forgetfulness so he remembers how bad it was before he got sober. For those still suffering with addiction and/or alcoholism he says,
If you’re having a hard time getting off meth or any other substance I hope you give yourself the opportunity to have a great life. A life without drugs and alcohol. Learn to love yourself because you’re really all you have.”
Aron has been sober again for nearly four years and attributes his success to his sobriety and a sense of humor. He’s thankful to Ed Kohler and McIntyre House for saving his life and works to give something back to his community by being part of an HIV/AIDS fundraiser called, “Best In Drag Show,” this coming October 6th, 2013 at the Orpheum Theater, downtown LA.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction, please call 800.447.9081 or visit: http://www.24houraddictionhelp.org/