January 2021

For the month of January, Fellowship RCO would like to recognize Chris Seitz.

Chris came to Fellowship in December 2013 and left in July of 2015. His willingness to help others, and his continued growth is truly an inspiration to many of us. He is a model alumni of Fellowship RCO.

From the bottom of our hearts Chris, thank you for all you do for the recovery community and all your support for Fellowship. Here is Chris’ story in his own words, sharing his experience, strength and hope to all of us, and showing us that recovery is possible!

When I was about 15, I started smoking pot and drinking; moderation was not something I sought out. I remember that I could get buzzed on 3 beers, so I needed my own six pack because I drank to get drunk. Eventually that led to many other substances, from pot to cocaine to opioids. Anything else I could get my hands on. I preferred to be using more than one substance in the pursuit of seeing how many days I could stay awake.

For me, drugs and alcohol went hand in hand with jails, institutions, and close calls with death. My treatment programs were the county jail and eventually prison. I could never stay out of trouble and I blamed everybody else but myself. I was like the jaywalker in the big book who seemed insane to every outsider in his life. The patterns in my life: get high, get arrested, swear I were never going to hang out with persons x, y, and z again, and repeat. I did it repeatedly thinking there would be a different outcome. By the time I hit my bottom, I found myself incarcerated and my poor mother would not even take a 15-minute phone call from me.
The last time I was in prison my father died, and I was unable to attend his service and support my mother. Facing my Father’s death alone and with nothing but time to reflect on my life; I realized I was 34 and had no possessions that could not fit in a locker, and nobody I could really call a friend. My father was dead, I was not allowed to see my son or even talk to him because his mom wanted nothing to do with me; neither did my own mother. I started thinking that I needed to look at the possibility that I had a problem.

Accepting that I had a substance use disorder I began asking about halfway houses in the Fort Lauderdale area. I narrowed my search down to Fellowship Recovery Community Organization because I heard that you could have women visitors and they allowed you to live your life somewhat without being micromanaged. Other halfway houses seemed to have more rules and Fellowship was appealing because I thought I could live my life as I pleased somewhat. Upon my release from prison, I entered Fellowship’s program and began my journey of recovery via AA.
Once I found a sponsor, I started working the steps immediately. I made a commitment to myself that I was going to give Fellowship and AA 6 months of my life but would give it the same effort that I put into my previous lifestyle- 110%. I went to more than one meeting a day, worked the steps, called my sponsor, and showed up when I said I would. I followed through on the requirements to maintain housing with fellowship for almost 2 years: working program reviews with my house manager, doing service around the community, and participating in community events. I rode my bike to commitments and work and left my ego in the house. I would not allow anyone to help me financially, (the list of offers was short) but I saved up the money to get my license back, which included thousands of dollars in fines, restitution, and even a beautiful blow machine in my car!
Although I committed myself to at least 6 months, I started to feel better after 30 days. Fellowship showed me a new way of life and I was totally sold on this being the right path for me. I surrounded myself with the winners at Fellowship and by doing so I became one of them. My original attraction to the Fellowship of having women over and doing what I wanted to do did not even matter because I stayed out of relationships; I went to meetings, and I worked on myself instead.
Chris with Wife Melissa
Chris with Daughter Makayla, who is in school for Nursing.
Chris with Son Nathan, who is in school for Explosive Ordnance Disposal

Today I am married, I have a stepdaughter who loves me, and that son I was no longer able to see came and lived with me for two years before he went into the Air Force. I own my own home now, and the home I lived in prior to this home, I have a boat, and many other material possessions. I am a partner and leader in business and have built a solid career, and I am trusted by my colleagues. I have come a very long from having nothing besides a brown bag filled with letters and Bob Barker flip flops. God has blessed me beyond measure and promises came true that I had not even thought of. I continue to give back to the recovery community and help others with substance use disorders find strength and hope. I continue to work a program and go to meetings I chair meetings and I have a sponsor.

I always look for opportunities to bless others with time, treasure, or even a simple smile. I remember teaching myself to smile when I got my car and was looking to get back into the dating scene. I was an empty soul who had nothing or nobody, but I had the faith to believe in AA and try a new way of life. I was always the one who took the easy way out and talked about doing the right thing, but I ended up in the same spot repeatedly. When I acted and took the road less travelled, I became a man of integrity and people now count on me.
If you are reading this and wondering if you can do what I did; I am here to tell you that you can. Give it 100%, do the steps, let another human being direct your life because if you were like me your own decision making is terrible. Open your mind to the possibility of there being something greater than yourself and in time let HIM direct your life. Give more than you take, work hard, be honest, do not take no for an answer. When you think you have had it; call your sponsor and the one in line after them, just don’t pick up. The God of your understanding is patiently waiting for you to receive Him and His blessings that you cannot even count. It is not always easy, but it is always worth it and there is another human whom you have not met yet who needs your help. You can repair your life, a lot of relationships, and have financial success if you want it and work for it, I promise.