Jason Wickline, 41, from West Virginia said he had to lose everything before finally decided to beat his addiction and commit fully to recovery. His story went viral after he shared photos of his dramatic transformation on Facebook.
Wickline has become a hopeful symbol of recovery after participating in the #RecoveryChallenge, a social media movement that encourages people who have overcome addiction to show their before-and-after photos.
The photo on the left shows the single dad in the throes of his yearslong struggle with addiction. Wickline had begun to dabble in drugs in his 20s, which ultimately resulted in him losing his home, his car, and the custody of his son.
The moment he watched Child Protective Services take his son, Krystian, into custody as he was being arrested was his wake-up call, he said.
“As they were walking Krystian to the car, he turned around to look at me and said, ‘Daddy, I love you and I’ll never forget you,’” Wickline told TODAY Health. “He was four and thought he would never see me again.”
Photos of Wickline after recovery shows a very different person.
Wickline said he has regained full custody of 9-year-old Krystian and has been employed at the same job for nearly two years.
Today, Wickline has devoted his time to sponsoring others going through recovery and volunteering as much as he can at various treatment programs.
“Everything is so different now,” Wickline said. “I surround myself with positive people and I try to give back whenever I can. I want people to know that this is a possibility. If I can do it, anyone can.”
The relationship between Wickline and his son has never been better.
“The other day he came to me and asked for a PlayStation for Christmas,” Wickline told the paper. “Then he goes, “But if I don’t get one, I still have the best present in the world. You.’”