Macomb Township man uses own sobriety to inspire others

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published January 27, 2020

 Eric Koselansky, 33, has been sober for nearly 3 1/2 years after an addiction to heroin. He is one of the individuals featured in the annual Faces of Recovery calendar.

Eric Koselansky, 33, has been sober for nearly 3 1/2 years after an addiction to heroin. He is one of the individuals featured in the annual Faces of Recovery calendar.

Photo provided by Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals

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METRO DETROIT — Eric Koselansky “always used like nothing else mattered.”

But then one day, he was overcome with a somber realization.

Koselansky is one of several people recovering from addiction featured in the annual Faces of Recovery calendar.

Produced by Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals, in partnership with CARE of Southeastern Michigan and Project Vox, the calendar highlights a different person in recovery each month and their story. The calendar debuted in 2007, highlighting regional individuals who escaped the grasps of drugs and alcohol.

Koselansky, 33, of Macomb Township, started using heroin in 2000. It was a daily ritual for him, ultimately leading to “treatment a gazillion times” and being “locked up a gazillion times.”

It was an in-and-out revolving door between the treatment centers and jail stints. Like most addicts who eventually subscribe to the model of sobriety, he had his own “aha” moment one day while at a trap house, a “home away from home,” getting his fix.

“I remember the last time I was back out there,” Koselansky said. “I was sitting in an abandoned house, where I probably was living by choice. I remember sitting there and crying, saying, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.’”

He went to his parents’ house and told his mother of his intentions.

His mother, father and sister were always supportive of him as a person, he acknowledged — even after numerous broken promises, or another trip to a jail cell.

His mother helped him place a call for support and treatment. An arrangement was made at SHAR Macomb, in Warren, where he spent 10 months. SHAR stands for Self-Help Addiction Rehabilitation.

“Once I got there, I still didn’t want to quit,” he admitted. “Heroin was No. 1. There was not a family member — Mom, Dad — more important than the heroin.”

He said that feeling is natural as when using heroin; “it comes and goes” as he described. But after using for over a decade, and having that transcendent experience in the trap house, it was a moment etched in time. He actually believed he could get clean.

“Those little aha moments kind of happen to me in different ways,” he said. “I really found a higher power.”

Long-term treatment has its value. Not only do you find out a lot about yourself as a human being, he said, but you embrace the inspiration given to you by other addicts in recovery.

“I was tired of feeling that hopelessness, ‘I’m gonna be a junkie and I’m gonna do this every day until I die.’ … I was probably clean a year before I realized not only could I do this, but I actually want to do this,” he said.

Today, Koselansky is about three years and five months sober. He works as a lead recovery coach at Eastwood Recovery Center in Southfield. He used to attend open meetings there, and one day he was approached by a man who suggested that he apply for a job there.

Now, Koselansky is the one providing inspiration to those who need it most.

“It was one of the best decisions I ever made, besides quitting,” he said. “I love being in this setting, I love being able to help people.”

Being in the recovery calendar is also a victory for him. Over the years, he has recognized numerous people in the calendar through treatment program experiences and whatnot. He asked years ago to be a part of it one day.

“I pretty much know every single person in (this year’s calendar). It’s crazy,” he said. “Now, I have this big recovery community family … Everything falls into place, everything happens for a reason.”

Koselansky is the face of June. Approximately 5,500 copies of the calendar are distributed throughout the metro Detroit area.

Anyone who wants a free copy of the calendar can call CARE at (586) 541-2273. 

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