Recovering Addict Walks Across The U.S. To Spread Hope In Recovery

By Victoria Kim 11/10/15

Chris Bailey walked 3,500 miles across the United States after hitting rock bottom.

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Chris Bailey walked 3,500 miles across the United States after hitting rock bottom. His journey allowed him to connect with people, especially other addicts, and confront his fears, he told NJ.com.

The 33-year-old from San Diego walked from Los Angeles to New York, where his journey ended in late October after just over seven months.

“For so long, I needed to do something to connect with people, God, and get rid of all the built up stuff I had inside,” he told NJ.com.

“It was a pilgrimage, to face my fears and walk with myself,” he said. “I was so used to numbing out my emotions and feelings.”

Bailey got into drugs and alcohol at age 20, and eventually hit rock bottom. His twin brother, Bobby, helped him get clean, which led to a month in treatment and six months in a sober living community.

In a video about Bailey's recovery journey, Bobby recalls losing touch with his brother. "I isolated myself so they didn't have to see me like that. It was just a vicious cycle," said Bailey.

Bailey's nephew, Bobby's son, is a symbol of his sobriety; he was born on the day Bailey decided to go to rehab. "I was reborn on that day," he said.

He would walk 10 miles to meetings. “I had to find my thoughts and I found I wasn’t as scared anymore,” he said.

Bailey was inspired to walk across the United States, to connect with other addicts and alcoholics. He told NJ.com about pitching a tent for shelter, visiting high schools and treatment centers, and the kindness of strangers.

“The connection with people was huge,” he said. “A lot of the time, we isolate ourselves, and there was so much love everywhere I went.”

Now clean for 14 months, Bailey is planning a cross-country trip by train.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr

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