The following is our 2nd episode with Bobby Cording, Buena Vista’s newest Business Development Specialist. You can listen to the whole episode here.
Frank: Welcome back to the Buena Vista podcast. This is our second installment, I have some great news to bring to the community. I’m sitting here with Mr. Bobby Cording. He has joined the Buena Vista team as of yesterday, and we are more than grateful to have him here. Mr. Bobby Cording, welcome. Let’s start with how you got into the community of recovery what you’re passionate about and what drives you every morning, what wakes you up?
Bobby: Thank you. Grateful to be here first and foremost. My name is Bobby Cording. I am 32 years old, I got sober in 2012, and that’s when I really found my passion for this line of work. I remember about a month prior to myself getting sober, I was suicidal. Gun in the hand, gun to the head every night praying for a way out. And I didn’t know there was this. I didn’t know there was treatment. I didn’t know that people got sober and what that looked like, you know. So when I when I first got sober, I’ll never forget it. My first therapist, I remember sitting in his office and I said, “I’m going to do what you do one day.” I knew from early on that this was something that I wanted to follow. I didn’t know that it was going to look as it has over the years, but that was kind of my introduction.
Frank: So what wakes you up in the morning? I know you know, but until I got sober, I had nothing to be passionate about, really, other than chasing down drugs. But once my passion was introduced to me through divine intervention, really everything became crystal clear for me. You want to tell us a little bit about that?
Bobby: Yeah. I mean, this is it. You know, this is the why is because what was done for me. I was very blessed like you, divine intervention, having individuals, God, come into our lives at the time that they came into our lives and made such an impact that the opportunity to be able to do that every day, that’s what drives me, you know. We’re not just talking about getting sober here. The miracles that we’ve seen with individuals who struggle to get sober and then get big lives, you know, it’s not just putting down the alcohol and drugs, it’s what are we doing after that? What’s the impact we’re having on the community? What’s the impact we’re having on our youth, on the generations coming after us? What are we doing? So my drive is it’s simple. It’s to be there and to really be that person that can help somebody.
Frank: So, Bob, I know from from growing really close to you over the last two years, I know that you have a special place in your heart for kids. You know, we’ve gone on to high schools and spoke with the youth and on prevention and both shared our stories and gotten a pretty cool reaction out of those kids. Also, I have a stepson and you’ve joined me and the boys up at the cabin and you just you fit right in, man. You’ve still got a heart. What is it that draws you to the kids? Is that your inner child kind of like, you’re still a young man. You’re still 32 years old, 30 to turn and 16. But what is it, man, that really draws you to the youth?
Bobby: I mean, this speaking thing is important. And the reason why is for for a couple of reasons. One is to be around like minded people. You know, you were asking earlier about what’s my drive? And when I wake up in the morning, it’s to be around the like minded people to do what we love to do and get to get out to the community and help. So when we can do that at the instrumental level, at the high schools, at the middle schools, and really get our stories out there, my hope is that we’re making an impact, you know, and we’re seeing the impact. We’re seeing the youth come up and ask us questions. And especially in these these days when we’re out there and we ask the question, “when is the first time you used what was it?” And the kids come up and they’ll ask us after “hey, I did heroin at 11 years old,” “hey, I’m smoking weed every day. Is this a problem?” And we just get to share our experience, strength, hope, and hopefully be a voice. Because when I was growing up and, I don’t know how it was for you, but when I was growing up, we had the DARE program. People would come in and show us drugs, it did nothing. If we can be in there, sharing our raw truth about what happened, what we went through, and why we’re so blessed to be here today to make it out of that. Yeah. You know, hopefully it’s making a difference.
Frank: Right. Bobby, I have some questions for you. Man, I’m really interested hearing about, I know I’ve heard before, but I think it would be good to air your dirty laundry. Why don’t you tell us how you got into drugs and alcohol and what age?
Bobby: Yeah, so, I mean, a little a little background before. And I always share this, but before growing up, I grew up in a house with loving parents. I saw not only love that they gave my brother and sister, but love between the two of them. You know, there was always a ton of love in the house. And I had a great demonstration of what a family looked like and I never needed or wanted for anything else. I remember from an early age, I said, I’ll never do drugs. I said, I’ll never do drugs, I’ll never be a drug addict, that’s not my story. And growing up, I started playing sports at an early age. I was really committed to basketball, football, baseball, and track and field. And I remember getting into high school, even a little bit before high school, about sixth grade. I remember just not feeling feeling normal in the sense like I could be in a room full of people, room full of my friends. And I had this emptiness inside. And I remember freshman year, I took my first drink, I was at a college party with my sister, had a 12 pack of Corona, I woke up, felt like shit the next day. And, you know, it wasn’t one of those experience like, I’m to do this the rest of my life. It was one of those experiences like, that was fun, I can open up more, but that’s all it was, you know. And then at 15, 16 years old, my dad had shoulder surgery. So all my dad’s Vicodin, my dad’s Percocet. And I was like, I’m gonna take this, you know? And from 30 minutes after I put that on my system, I said, I’m doing this the rest of my life as much as possible. You know, I loved it. Yeah. Everything went blank.
Bobby: It progressed in high school, I kept it pretty straight. I was scared to let my coaches down. I was scared to let my family down. I did look for it after those prescriptions ran out for about a week. Yeah, one week, two weeks, couldn’t find anything. But like I said, I just I was focused on sports and focused on the next chapter.
Frank: Ok, what age you think you hit rock bottom?
Bobby: Twenty two. When I got to college that’s when it all started. That’s when the downfall quickly happened. I mean, I got there two weeks early, booze everywhere. I found Adderall quickly after that. And you know, it was Adderall and booze. Freshman year, my best friend, we got a house with five our best friends from high school with a keg in the closet Monday through Sunday. Best friend becomes my drug dealer. It’s right next door. It’s on. It’s on. The party was on.
Frank: You know, we’re going to jump through a few questions here right now. But, you know, we’ll get deeper into your story throughout this podcast. How’d you get help?
Bobby: I was empty, you know, I think that’s the biggest thing is, I was empty. I remember right before I got sober, I was laying in bed, like I said, I mean, a gun in my hand pressed to my head, couldn’t pull the trigger. Asking “God why, why?” And the thought was, I can’t imagine life going the way it was and I couldn’t imagine getting sober, you know? And I remember thinking there wasn’t a way out. There’s no way out of this. And just like you, it was divine intervention. I made one phone call and from there, you know, the path was presented to me.
Frank: Right. Was it your choice?
Bobby: Yes. Yes, it was my choice. I got arrested, four days into detox, got arrested. Thirty six hours in jail. You know, a story was thirty six hours of my life. But we had treatment set up prior to court, prior to the sentencing. So I was allowed to go to treatment, went to a 30 day program in Wisconsin, then came back to a six month program here in Arizona.
Frank: And did you have court after after you went through treatment?
Bobby: I did.
Frank: So tell us a little bit about what happened in that court hearing that you were at your face. You’re you’re facing a lot of time, right? I mean, you had nineteen felony charges, correct? Obviously, you had 19 felony charges that turned into what?
Bobby: Nothing. That turned into, I mean, I was graced by God in the story that I share. I went back to court four times in my first year and a half. Nineteen felonies, looking at six, ten years in prison. And I remember I’ll never forget it. I was sitting in the in the basement of the courthouse with my lawyer prepping me for the for the last hearing. And he said, go give your mom and dad a hug and a kiss. You’re going away for at least a year. He’s like, there’s no way out of it. And I remember I gave my mom a hug and a kiss. She said, I’m proud of you and I lost it. You know, it’s the first time I cried. And it was an experience that when we walked in that courtroom, I had my head held up high and I knew everything was going to be OK no matter what. I was sober and I was prepped, you know? And I knew that if I had to go spend time would be all right, like, I’d get through it. And I remember sitting there and the judge granting me three years probation. He said, you’re doing A, B and C, and he’s like, I don’t do this often, but for whatever reason, I’m going to give you a shot. And for the first time in my life, I didn’t walk out of that courtroom arrogant, like I beat the system. Right. I walked out of that courtroom humble and grateful for an opportunity. Yeah. You know, and that was like, it was awesome.
Frank: Yeah. You know, that’s great, man. We we share a lot of similarities in our story of redemption. And, you know, I don’t want to say beating cases, but being graced by God and getting pushed through without severe repercussions. You know, that’s that’s great, man. So obviously, Bob, your family and peers offered support for you through this process, right? I mean, was there a time when they just said, you’re done like beat feet?
Bobby: Twenty two years old. This was in between a detox stint for two weeks and trying to stay sober for my family. We were going to give it a shot. And this is the first time I came out and said I had a problem. I stayed sober for two weeks, picked up Percocet, stayed sober for another two weeks, got a job working at a factory. And I thought that’s what my life was going to be, living at home with mom and dad, working at a factory, 12 hour shifts, you know. Yeah, morning, night, didn’t matter. And I remember, you know, I got drug tested. My mom and dad, there was a condition of staying at the house. And this is where my story really takes a turn for the worse. And I would have gotten sober without this, but it was nine or seven on a Tuesday night. Mom kicked me out, said, you’re done. I failed a drug test. I was failing drug test for weeks. I think my pops, like, was covering for me but wasn’t covering for me, so. Kicked me out. That was the first night I smoked crack cocaine and nine months from the day that they kicked me out to smoking crack cocaine. You know, in nine months, my whole life flipped upside down.
Frank: All right. Kind of off course here. But what would be an ideal night for you back then? What’s your day love like?
Bobby: I mean, it was a wake up, snort a 30, pop a 30, real sophisticated, you know, laying in bed. Turn on the news. Eating some bagels. Yeah. Oh, picking up some scratchers, you know, and it was just that was my day. I’m not going to lie, in the beginning it was fun. In the beginning it was a party and it was a blast. But the last two years I was a slave. I was a slave, you know, to Percocet. So it was wake up, Percocet, buy as much crack as I could afford, steal to get as much crack as I could afford. Yeah, you know, and it’s this story, the story to the felonies. It’s it’s one that I’m not proud of, but it’s one that is, I think, important. It’s the depths that we go to and I was working at a factory. I met a 40 year old woman, fresh out of a divorce with a stepson and she came to me on a line one day and she said, “if you ever need to borrow money, let me know.” And that was music to my ears. I must’ve been complaining about not going to the bank. I was working too much, whatever it was. And I didn’t start borrowing money from that day. But, three months down the road, here I am and the cool part about it, as I was able to make that right, and every penny that was owed to her was paid back.
Frank: How long you been working in in treatment for Bob?
Bobby: I’ve been in treatment for the last eight years. Started out as a tech and I loved it. That’s when I fell in love with the industry. I worked as a tech for a little over two years living in a house with the clients, and I just fell in love with it. You know, being being in the trenches.
Frank: Where do you get sober?
Bobby: I got sober in Prescott. I got sober at a place called New Freedom, it saved my life. I was, and I share the story often, but I was picked up by a group of guys. They gave me a hug, said, love you, welcome home, and from there, the rest was history. They carried me, showed me, paved me the way. And I knew that I wanted to work for New Freedom. Like shortly after I got my my bearings and was progressing in the program I was like, “I want to work here”. So I was I was given an opportunity and that’s how I kind of got my start.
Frank: Yeah, well, this community is absolutely blessed to have, you. You are true blue, we’re grateful to have you. I’m grateful to know you, grateful to call you a dear friend. We’re going to keep this thing moving, welcome to Buena Vista. We’re going to wrap this up, guys, we’re still at a loss for a name for this podcast. So if any of you folks on social media are listening on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, any other platforms, if you have any kind of idea, we are definitely open to throwing some stuff out there. Maybe we’ll even make, like a winner, a gift for the winner if we if we choose the name. Whatever social media platform you’re listening on, submit the name. And if we choose it, we’ll think of something. We’ll come up with a gift and make it worth your while for helping us collaborate on the name. Till next time guys, we appreciate you joining us and stay safe.