Kristoph: Recovery Gave Me Back My Life

A man shares his story of recovering from drug and alcohol use, and helping others struggling with substance use.

My name is Kristoph Pydynkowski and I am grateful to wake up today and feel free. I am a person in long-term recovery, which means I have not used drugs or alcohol since 2007. My primary goal in life is to give away the one thing that means everything to me—hope. That was not always my story.

I grew up outside of Boston and was adopted when I was a baby. I was raised with a lot of love and support. I was taught that life is beautiful and is full of hopes and dreams. I was a talented athlete with promise to make a career out of that talent.

When I began drinking and using drugs, I wanted to fit in. Little did I know I had opened a door I could not close. My addiction took on a life of its own. I traveled all over the United States. I was in and out of hospitals, jails, detoxes, and was slowly dying. I felt morally defective and thought that the world was better off without me.

In 2007, I entered Gosnold Treatment Center on Cape Cod, and it saved my life. It was there that people made me feel human again; that I was sick, not a bad person. Today, my dreams have come true. I am licensed by the commonwealth of Massachusetts, working at the place that saved my life. I am supervising a new program, which I helped develop, for young adults who are addicted to opiates. I lecture about addiction and recovery at high schools and a local college and do radio, television, and newspaper interviews.

Last year I married the woman of my dreams. When I visit my family we hug and cry tears of joy because of what recovery has done for us. They are so proud. My heart is filled with hope today. The world is a beautiful place again. We do recover.

Last Updated: 12/22/2015