Matt Gideon

anylength Staff Member

I was born on September 26th, 1989. My parents split up when I was only a couple of months old, so I grew up constantly moving back and forth between Los Angeles, California and Arlington, Texas. Alcoholism was no stranger to me, seeing as my father had been an alcoholic since long before I was born. That being said, I didn’t have the slightest idea of what I was going to have to endure as a result of my drinking and drugging.

For as long as I can remember, I carried an unbearable pain and discomfort deep inside of my soul. I would later learn that this was known as the spiritual malady. I had always felt different from everyone else, as if I didn’t know where I belonged or if I even did belong anywhere at all. This pain led to anger problems and many behavioral issues. I spent years going from therapist to therapist, being misdiagnosed with different disorders, and prescribed various medications. Nothing worked, until one day I was introduced to marijuana. I found something that seemed to make all my anxiety, anger, and depression disappear. It also opened the door to a new identity and a new way of life. It didn’t take long for the unmanageability to begin after that. I began getting in trouble with the law, getting kicked out of school after school, and treating my family with utter disrespect. I said I would smoke marijuana, but I would NEVER touch anything harder than that. Before I knew it, I was abusing any substance I could get my hands on. Once I was introduced to heroin, the darkest of my days had arrived. My friends were dying left and right. I would overdose every so often. I was miserable. I tried everything I could think of to get my life together. I would often try a change in location, hanging out with different people, suboxone maintenance, different forms of spirituality, fitness, martial arts, self-help books, etc. Nothing worked. I always ended up using again.

On March 10th, 2016, my family surprised me with an intervention. They caught me at a time when I was absolutely defeated, and I had realized that I was truly powerless over this disease. I had never been to treatment, nor had I been introduced to the 12 steps. With the tiny bit of willingness that I had, I accepted their offer of 90 days at a 12-step immersion treatment center. I had no idea what God had in store for me. I arrived at the facility with no more fight left in me. I told the staff that I would do whatever they asked me to do. I took direction. When they recommended 3 months of transitional living after treatment, I accepted. When they recommended 12 months of sober living after transitional living, I accepted. I continued to get out of my own way and allowed my Higher Power to guide me. It has been a crazy journey, but today my life is more beautiful than I ever could have anticipated. I have a healthy, loving relationship with everyone in my family. I have devoted friends that hold me accountable and want to see me happy and successful. I work at Any Length Retreat, where I get to spend my days using my experience, strength, and hope to help men find the freedom that I am so fortunate to have found. I no longer hate myself. I no longer must suffer. I have found love and liberation.

Mission Statement: “To continuously grow in faith, wisdom, and compassion, and to use my experience, strength, and hope to spread love and light to those who are still suffering.”