Faces of Recovery: Bobby’s story

Published 10:40 am Thursday, July 19, 2018

This week’s installment of our weekly Faces of Recovery series, in which we highlight individuals who have overcome addiction, focuses on Middlesboro native, Bobby Manis.

Bobby Manis began experimenting with drugs at the age of 13 due, as he puts it, to feeling rejected by everybody — people at school and even his family.

“Everybody that I came across rejected me. I felt alone,” said Manis. “I just wanted someone to care and like me and wanted me around, so I started getting high with people at school just so they would hang around with me.”

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When asked what he was addicted to, Manis replied with “whatever I could get high on.”

Manis stated his life was a nightmare for 20 years while he “was a slave to the high.”

“It stopped being fun five years into the life, then it became a way of survival to me. I would do whatever it took to get my fix. I never cared what I did, who I did (it) to. I’ve done things I want to keep between me and God,” he said.

He also stated he doesn’t remember many of things he did while addicted and had spent a significant amount of his life incarcerated. He was also in and out of four treatment centers, none of which stuck.

“I thought my life was a joke. I hated my life. I wanted to die. I was alone and didn’t want to be here,” he said.

Manis realized he truly had to make a change when he was hooked on meth, hiding in his family’s home because he wasn’t wanted there. He would hide there to take his drugs and steal.

At that point in his life, Manis’s son was 10 years old. Manis said he was standing in the middle of U.S. 25E in the dead of night, watching the lights come toward him.

Manis looked to the other side of the road and saw a vision of his son. As he walked toward him, he felt the heat of a semi-truck blow past as the horn blasted in the night. It was after this he knew he needed to get serious.

Since that incident, he has been in recovery for two years. It was hard on Manis at first, but he stuck with it and has been clean for close to two years. He has since rented a house for him and his son.

“Life is really starting to look (good) for me now,” he said.