My name is Justo Chalaire. My sobriety date is 12/26/2018. I was born in New Orleans, LA but grew up most of my life in Chesapeake, VA. I currently reside in Greenwood, SC, and work in several different titles. I am a Peer Support Specialist for the Federation of Families of SC, Therapeutic Mentor for Bow and Arrow Center of Hope, Mental Health First Aid instructor, and Life Coach for my organization called Recovery Reinforced. My goals are to simply embrace life to the fullest without using substances. This includes exercise, snowboard trips, church, white-water rafting, creating music, writing poetry, learning, and being the best possible Uncle, Son, and Brother I can be.
What does recovery mean to you?
God and Recovery are everything to me because without them I wouldn’t be alive.
What does recovery look like to you?
Recovery looks like Metamorphosis. I remember this word from a science class when I still had my wits LOL.
Metamorphosis means transformation or change in shape. This represents the process of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly which consists of 4 stages.
Early in recovery, My mama butterfly dropped me off as an unhatched egg at Oaks Recovery which represented my leaf. She chose the Oaks so that I could eat the leaf (information) once I hatched.
Then I hatched into a Caterpillar moving slow, eating more leaves, and shedding my skin as I began to grow. I also had to prepare to go into the “Pupa” stage.
During the “Pupa” stage the caterpillar starts a messy yet beautiful process of becoming a butterfly. I compare this part to when I transitioned out of treatment. That’s when the magic happened, I finished developing through life’s difficulties and that’s when I broke free from the cocoon as a unique and beautiful butterfly. Now I’m just chillin’, loving life and flying free.
What is something you do for yourself in your recovery?
Awakening (every day!), Exercise, Laugh w/ sober friends, sponsorship, church, and always willing to do more!
What is something you do for others in recovery?
I sponsor individuals, I build wellness programs for members in recovery, I help direct drug court classes in Greenwood, SC, I am vice-chair of the GAC substance abuse coalition, I serve on the Abbeville substance abuse task force, I chair weekly meetings at the Oaks Recovery Center, I created an online group chat for local members in recovery, I assist with community events for members in recovery
What advice would you give to someone new in recovery?
“You ain’t gotta live like that anymore”
What’s your favorite hobby in sobriety?
Anything else you’d like to share or add?
It was hard for me to heal in the same environment I got sick in and I am glad I didn’t let pride stand in the way of a promising life.