ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - A young St. Paul man went from drug abuse to now, less than a year later, leading a dignified life. He posted his recovery story on Reddit, and the inspirational post has already gone viral.
Ryan Harder says his battle with drug addiction started when he was just 14. His attempts to free himself from the grips of addiction were vast. He had been to at least 10 treatment programs and over the years was convicted of seven petty misdemeanors, a DWI and a felony. Most recently, he spiraled into meth addiction, which led him to the darkest moments of his life.
"I was going to jump off the bridge because I'd had enough of the lifestyle of being high, being homeless, having nowhere to go and being completely unhappy," Harder says.
Now 23 and nine months into complete sobriety, Harder knew it was time to share his story. He posted a two contrasting photos on Reddit, revealing how far he's come less than a year later. His post has gone viral, racking up more than two million views and thousands of comments.
Harder now lives in a sober house, works full time raising money for police and is rebuilding relationships.
"I have friends," Harder says. "I have real friends. I talk to my family a lot. I'm gaining relationships back. I can show up. I can show up in life. I can be a friend; I can be a brother, a son. I can be an uncle and those are all things that I value and all things I couldn't do before."
Ryan's recovery story not only restored his motivation, also encourages others to take action. His reveal also encourages others to take action.
It's never really too late to turn things around, even with my criminal history, even with being homeless, even with having nothing to where I'm at now I wouldn't trade anything for it," Harder says.
Representatives at Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge said no one truly wants to be an addict.
If you're struggling with addiction and need a way out MNTC can help or at least connect you with one of their partners. Call 612-FREEDOM or visit http://www.mntc.org/