"In March, I celebrated 14 years of sobriety from a fatal drug addiction to opiates," the standout contestant wrote. "I was as hopeless and tortured as they come. I am blessed to have had an incredible program, a stellar support system, and one damn good higher power that allowed me to be pulled from the black hole that is addiction, and go on to live an incredible life."
Hunter continued, “If you are struggling, if you are scared, or hopeless..If you miss living, and miss feeling.. please do not give up. REACH OUT. We all have a purpose in this life. If I can do it, so can you. We’ve all got a whole lotta’ living left to do. I love you all.”
Elsewhere, the handsome single dad of two compared his experience with substance abuse to other debilitating struggles.
“This morning, millions of tortured souls woke up with only one thing on their mind - finding the medicine to cure their sickness. And that can look a lot of different ways,” he wrote. “A drug addict stealing to score their next fix. An anorexic waiting to see a lower number. A gambler putting in a new set of lineups. An alcoholic, like clockwork, making their way down to the corner liquor store for today’s bottle of Whiskey. Every, single, day. Every single hour.”
Hunter elaborated, “Every waking minute is devoted to temporarily unlocking the chains that bind them.. their disease. And at the end of that day— we will lose many of these to overdose and death. And others, if they are lucky, may end up in prison.”
The Texas native also included a message of hope for anyone in a similar situation: “It doesn’t have to be this way. I am here to tell you, and to shout from the rooftops, that there is a way out. There is a solution! You don’t have to live this way.”
See Hunter’s entire post below.
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If you or anyone you know is facing mental and/or substance use disorders, call the SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) — a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service.