My Name is Cruz Baca and I am a man sustaining long-term recovery. I am the Recruitment lead for Young People In Recovery – Durango, Colorado. The small group of leaders involved in this chapter are my best friends. I often speak about connection. Connections are a huge part of what steers our lives in certain directions. From the age of 16-37 years-old the connections I made were all with individuals whose priorities were centered around alcohol and drug use, as were mine. I longed for connection at a young age and these individuals were the first to show me what I thought was unconditional love. So of course, I was pulled very quickly into that lifestyle. In 2016 that lifestyle and my choices caught up with me and put me into a situation where I was facing two felonies and 16 years in prison. My choices and alcohol use had slowly taken literally everything from me, including my freedom. Enter a beautiful soul who is involved in a very well known anonymous recovery program. Though that program did not work for me after 20 years of being in and out of those rooms – The connection I had with this individual changed my life. The connection with her spawned the connection with another beautiful soul in Candice Seay – Chapter Lead, Durango Colorado – This was all pre-Young People in Recovery. Candice and I met, and we immediately connected. We clicked and our outlook on recovery was aligned – We created a small group and began creating pro social events and started building our own recovery community. We called it Plan B. A few short months later I went to trial and was sentenced and just like that I was pulled from my support system and had to pay penance for my crimes. Crimes that were in direct connection with my addiction.  Whilst incarcerated, Candice found Young People in Recovery, an amazing organization that aligned with the mission statement, we had set forth with our little recovery group Plan B. Candice started the Durango chapter of Young People in Recovery. I kept close tabs on her whilst incarcerated and was extremely excited to be released and hit the ground running.  After almost a year of being incarcerated Candice and Young People in Recovery were waiting for me when I was released.
On October 16th 2021, I will have 5 years in Recovery. When asked what Y.P.R has contributed to that- my answer is, more than anyone will ever be able to comprehend.
After more than 20 years in active addiction, I had found my solution, I had found my cure. Healthy connection and a healthy environment. On October 16th 2021, I will have 5 years in Recovery. When asked what Y.P.R has contributed to that- my answer is, more than anyone will ever be able to comprehend. The definition of Recovery is: A return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength – The action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.  Y.P.R and Recovery has given me more than I ever had or hoped to have in active addiction, and it keeps on giving. Not only to me, but also every individual that is close to me.  I was urged for 20 years to accept who I was… My name is Cruz and I am an alcoholic with Y.P.R that has  evolved to My name is Cruz and I am a man in recovery – I am a friend, a Son, a Brother, a professional, a Role-model, a Recovery Coach… and I am a father.None of this would have been possible without the healthy connections birthed from Young People in Recovery.

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