EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first of a periodic series of articles examining the lives of people who have battled with addiction to drugs.
HUNTINGTON - Kit Roberts said it wasn't exactly hitting rock bottom, but more of a feeling of impending doom that caused him to enter treatment for his addiction.
"I knew inside of me I was going to die soon, and I was going to lose custody of my son," said Roberts, who is now two years sober. "It was that feeling that was my bottom. I knew I had to do something."
Roberts, 33, a St. Albans native, began drinking when he was 15 and then progressed to weed, then acid, then prescription pills and finally heroin, which he used until admitting himself into Recovery Point of Huntington, then the Healing Place.
He said growing up it was just the thing to do.
"Partying was what I was good at," Roberts said. "I started to identify with it. It became my identity. I was the life of the party. I could always get stuff."
He said it made him more outgoing and able to talk to people.
"I was raised my whole life just thinking it wasn't cool to just be sober," Roberts said. "If you're going to have any fun, you've got to be doing something."
Roberts wasn't the only one in his family struggling with addiction, either. Two of his siblings were also in active addiction at the same time.
"We were driving my mom crazy, of course," he said.
His brother went to Recovery Point first.
"I saw the change in him while I was still in addiction," Roberts said. "When he was 18 months sober, that's when I decided it was time for me to come (to Recovery Point) because I have a son. He was about 2 years old and I could feel him slipping through my fingers. I was about to lose custody of him and I was just overall tired of that life. I was tired of having to put something in me to wake up in the morning, in order to take care of my son, change his diaper, feed him.
"The pain finally got great enough on a daily basis that I started to want what I saw in my brother."
Roberts admitted himself into Recovery Point on Nov. 1, 2013. He had been through other programs before, either because of pressure from his parents or to get out of trouble, but they never stuck because he wasn't doing it for him.
"I started learning about the things we do here, about the disease-of-addiction concept and about spiritual principals," he said. "I developed a relationship with God that I never really had before. I made tons of new friends with people that were sober ... I saw that there is a whole other life out there. I don't need to put all those things in me to have a good time or to feel good about myself. This place took hold of me because of that real fast."
A sister also has become sober after going through treatment at the Healing Place in Raleigh, North Carolina. He said his entire family dynamic changed.
Roberts said he could see his relationships being rebuilt.
"My son especially," he said. "I had always been there for him physically, but now I am able to be there emotionally and spiritually. The quality of time together is so much greater."
Roberts said he has kept a journal to his son since beginning his time at Recovery Point, which he hopes to use to teach his son, the child of addicts, about his struggle.
"I don't want to shield him or hide anything from him," Roberts said. "I want to give him all the facts."
Roberts now works as the kitchen coordinator at Recovery Point of Huntington, and he is studying psychology at Marshall University.
"I came in here two years ago with just a bag full of old clothes, old raggedy shoes," he said. "Today, two years later, I have a house on the river in Chesapeake with my girlfriend. I have split-custody of my son. I have my license back. I have a new car. It's been two short years and I went from having absolutely nothing to everything I've dreamed of because of this place."
Roberts said his message for addicts is there is hope.
"I was hopeless," Roberts said. "I thought I was destined to be that way. I tried other treatment places that weren't what this is and I didn't think there was enough help out there for as severe as my problem was. My message to those struggling out there, I'd tell them to get to this place, is what I would tell them."
Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter at @TaylorStuckHD.