Written by Bill Weiss
If you’ve been to speaker meetings before, you’ve probably heard this time and time again: “I never felt like I fit in.” Well, that’s my story too. My name is William Weiss, and I was born in Allentown, PA. Allentown is not the most exciting town, aside from an enormous amusement park called Dorney Park – which is probably why a lot of the youth turn to drugs and alcohol to entertain themselves. I grew up an only child who spent a lot of time around adults, which made me feel out of place with my peers. I stumbled through school, making it by the skin of my teeth. Now don’t get me wrong, I always had grandiose ideas. I never thought of myself as unintelligent, I was just unmotivated.
I spent a lot of my youth on the computer. I enjoyed building websites, eventually getting the idea I could become rich online: I spent hours on end, scouring the web for new ideas. Eventually, I found something that stuck – I started a subscription service with a web geek like myself in Russia. We sold proxy server subscriptions, and it was very lucrative.
Eventually, the partying took a toll on my motivation. I found that partying was much more satisfying than worrying about school. Besides, I already had a fairly successful business by this time.
Shortly after I started my first business, I got my driver’s license. Like most teens, this was a huge deal to me. Unfortunately, the partying soon followed. When I went out, I started to feel like I was finally part of a crew of friends. In retrospect, it was probably just the alcohol working as lubrication to my social awkwardness. Nevertheless, I made tons of friends and went out at least three to five times a week. High school came to a much-awaited end and I didn’t have any real plans, aside from community college. I spent the last year of high school in community college half-days. As I mentioned earlier, I always had impressive ideas, I just didn’t have the passion to execute them. My goal was to get a jump start on college and transfer to a prestigious school for an Internet Security Degree. Eventually, the partying took a toll on my motivation. I found that partying was much more satisfying than worrying about school. Besides, I already had a fairly successful business by this time.
Just to be clear, my business literally took zero time to manage. It was a fully-automated subscription service, and any real server maintenance was done by my business partner is Russia. So I had plenty of free time to get myself into trouble. It didn’t take long before my OxyContin addiction started getting expensive. My parents could not for the life of them figure out what I was spending all my money on or why I was throwing up on their roof at two in the morning.
I could sense I wasn’t being all that smart. I didn’t waste much time before I got on the computer and started to google treatment centers in South Florida. I was tired of the life I was living, frustrated with my level of boredom in Allentown and my growing dependence on drugs to enjoy myself. I decided to move to Florida and start over.
After spending nearly the first three years of my recovery taking classes and sharpening up my skills I was able to start a successful web marketing company,
Florida wasn’t the end all be all to my recovery process. I felt incredibly more lost than I did before I came to Florida. Once I was fed up enough with the insanity of relapsing and doing it all over again, I came to my senses and started going to meetings and sponsoring. At some point, I felt compelled to get back on track and go to school. This is when I came across Life of Purpose. I heard the CEO Andrew Burki talk at a relapse prevention meeting at a local meeting venue. He offered a program where people who needed substance use treatment could sign-up for college classes and get support along the way. I inquired about it and got started almost immediately. I started a journey towards a degree in Business Finance. After taking a few courses I had initially done pretty poorly in and had to retake, I was amazed. My new sense of work ethic and maturity was paying off. I finally was getting A’s in mathematics courses that were seemingly impossible before. I noticed the overall trend of growth in recovery.
Once I was able to give the recovery process a shot and take all the recommendations from people who had multiple years sober, I noticed life started getting good. I was finally able to set my ego aside and focus on myself. While focusing on myself I got some clarity into what kind of career I wanted. I decided that I didn’t want to give up on the tech industry. I dove back into my original love, web development. After spending nearly the first three years of my recovery taking classes and sharpening up my skills I was able to start a successful web marketing company, along with other internet ventures.
Trusting in the recovery process and having people guide me throughout the way is what I can really attribute my success to. Life of Purpose gave me the resources to succeed in recovery and in life, and for that I thank them.
To learn more about our academically focused substance use disorder treatment program, contact us.