About four years ago, Ron Papke had a routine he followed practically every single day. He’d wake up, go to Speedway, buy a couple of Monster Energy drinks and a sandwich and return later for the same things in addition to a case of beer. Mixed in with his trips to the gas station were his ingestion of Vicodin pills.
But leading an unhealthy and addictive life has turned Papke into an inspiration for others who go through similar routines with alcohol and other drugs today.
“I know about addiction - addiction is hard, but it is possible,” Papke told a group of 20 or so enrolled in the La Porte County Problem Solving Court on Thursday. “You need to seek bigger and better things, they are coming.”
Once an addict himself who spent two years in jail and another two as homeless, Papke is now a successful business man and activist. He often speaks to groups spreading his story and sharing an inspirational message. On Thursday, he spoke of how we should not believe the lies we tell ourselves every day.
“On a daily basis we tell ourselves lies,” he said. “The biggest lie is always ‘I am not capable of this.’ To stop lying we need to start living in the land of possibilities.”
“The richest man on earth doesn’t have the most money, but the most time,” he continued.
Papke stressed three components of recovery. The first being vision. “You need to see yourself as capable of doing things.” Next, is taking action and the final step to begin recovery is “believing it.”
“If you don’t believe it, it’s not going to happen.”
La Porte County Judge Magistrate Greta Friedman thanked Papke for delivering the inspirational message to those enrolled in the program.
“You never know who is going to flip that switch for you,” Friedman told the court. “But if you start with sobriety, someone will flip it for you.”