My Next Level Story
by: Chase Cheney
December 13, 2017

So, I would write for hours and hours trying to tell everyone about my self-realization story and the things that I do daily to take myself to the next level but we only have one essay today.  My story is one that may interest you, or it may not.  You might become emotional, or have no affect on you at all.  I might go into a few different subjects that are very important to me and share things that I am not completely one hundred percent comfortable with sharing. I figured that if I am the one organizing the writing contest, it’s only fair that I be the first one to share. The subject is on CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES.  I would love to hear your feedback at the end and know what you think about my story so here goes nothing!

             My story starts with the admittance and letting myself know that I have a drug dependency problem and an extreme addictive personality.  I still suck my thumb at night at the age of 32 and even catch myself doing it during the day but still haven’t stopped so that’s my number one addiction.  I have experimented with most drugs, but stuck with mainly cigarettes, marijuana, alcohol and the ones of the club variety – Ecstasy, molly, ketamine and acid.  I quit those about 10 years ago in 2007 after being caught selling ecstasy to an undercover cop.  I was NOT an active drug dealer, just the middleman for someone I worked with but that is a completely separate story – it would take too long to tell.


              My mother, father and sister moved to Denver while I was there, and I wanted to treat my mother to dinner at Red Lobster– I actually hadn’t done any of these “club” drugs for a year, however I was still smoking marijuana, cigarettes and drinking socially.  I sold 20 pills and was going to pocket $100.  The $10,000 lawyer fee, $3,000 in court costs ie; probation, drug tests, and living for three months without a license, getting to work by having a friend drive my car (THANKS SUMMER) PLUS losing the $100 profit and $200 I spent on the pills equals about $13300. Keep in mind these are just guestimates and they don’t include the MASSIVE amount of embarrassment to my family and friends.  Shortly thereafter my parents divorced and my father started using methamphetamine after battling the addiction for several years prior.  Needless-to-say I didn’t have a problem with club drugs after that.


              My Marijuana, cigarette and social alcohol use continued throughout the following 10 years until this year – 2017. I have been practicing yoga off an on since 2004 at the age of nineteen – I was introduced by a partner of mine named Cameron.  It started to change my life immediately.  I was able to refocus my energy and started to notice drastic changes in my mental clarity and the ability to pay attention to projects as well as train my ADHD without medication. During this time I continued practicing yoga during the times I was not using and learned some ways of clearing my mind in a healthy way and allowing myself to learn how to breathe again, and integrate meditation into my life as well. No matter how much yoga, meditation, massage or holistic approaches or practices I tried – I could not figure out why I couldn’t control my anger, emotions or even sex drive.


              This leads to the only other addiction that I am concerned with and working on to this day. Sex…… From a very early age I can remember experimenting, watching porn, and being very interested in this form of human connection. I started partying in the gay community at the age of fourteen and was sexually assaulted by a twenty seven year old and thirty three year old at the time, and their friend, who was forty three, sat back and watched. I was intoxicated, and told them that it’s what I wanted. They gave me a place to stay the night several times before and were waiting for that one time I would ask.  I felt for the longest time that it was my fault.  It wasn’t until after I was eighteen that I realized that it wasn’t.  To this day I harbor ill feelings about that situation that will never go away.  I have learned to cope, and this is one of the many reasons why I wanted to QUIT ALL mind-altering substances.

            This year – 2017 I had the pleasure of being a very important person in my roommate’s life when he made the decision to quit alcohol after around twenty years of drinking and I took him to the rehabilitation facility. He has been sober ever since, it’s been about 6 months in counting with only one relapse.  Shortly after that my father called me, July 4 2017 to be exact to tell me that he had decided to go to rehab for methamphetamine. He had been on legal speed off and on from the age of five years old.  This was an absolute SHOCK and BLESSING at once.  He even had a job after being jobless for around eight years.  I was SO proud of him that I drove from San Diego, CA to Midland, TX just so I could surprise him! I had quit cigarettes about seven months prior but bought a pack for the trip and enjoyed all 20 of them. He had NO idea I was coming.  My mother called and found out which store he was working at and his boss gave him the day off to hang out with me.

            I attended two or three narcotics anonymous meetings with him. One of which was at his rehabilitation facility.  There were grown men in that meeting who cried and told us we were an inspiration to them.  One told us he was going to call his father that night after not speaking to him in countless years.  We were an inspiration to those around us. I told my father I would be there for him no matter what even If he fell off the wagon to please call me in any situation.  During this trip I quit smoking cigarettes again, marijuana and drinking socially. Since then, I have been able to control my anger, process my emotions and my sexual appetite has gone down by at least 80%. I am still working on my thumb but that’s the least of my worries.

           There are a lot of other things that happened between the lines of these events. Some I am not ready to share yet, and some that I just cannot remember.  In 2014 I received my Yoga Teacher Training certificate, and that same year I finished school and received my massage practitioner license. I opened my own company and went back to get my Massage Therapist License.  Today I am working on growing Sun Chaser Wellness.  I have been sober from hard drugs for 10 years and cigarettes, marijuana, and alcohol since I visited my father 78 days ago.  He and my roommate were big inspirations of mine.


           Some people want to know what Sun Chaser means? It is my yogi name.  This name wasn’t given to me by a guru.  I named myself because I AM my own guru - as are the rest of us.  It represents rising from the ashes and that you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to.  I hope my story wasn’t too long and that you know a little more about who I am.  I still struggle with some emotions, anger and minor depression but I feel 90% better than when I was using.  My goal is to continue on my path and help others along the way. I am so grateful to have a clear mind and be able to make rational decisions as well as control my emotions and urges. It only gets better from here.  My holistic teachings help me each day in living the life I now want to lead and in being that inspirational person I see in my mind. I am still not perfect but will continuously evolve as much as I can. Thanks for reading and here’s to several more years of being sober!

© 2017 Chase Cheney