Addiction in the form of alcoholism found me at death’s door. I was sick and the physical discomfort was tremendous. The dry heaves, the shaky hands, the bleeding ulcers…you name it and I had it.
That was accented by agonizing mental symptoms like racing thoughts and sleeplessness. I lost everything and found myself living in a cheap hotel during the winter with no heat. I just laid in bed writhing with withdrawals, watching cockroaches run up and down the wall.
I lost all respect from the people who knew me, eventually being dubbed the “town drunk.” I was also facing serious legal issues and substantial jail time, thanks to a second DUI. The only thing that made me feel better was another drink, which led to dozens more throughout the day. I was trying to die by poisoning myself with alcohol.
I was constantly asking for money from my parents. And I was manipulative and would lie about it. “I need twenty dollars for gas”, or “I need fifty dollars for groceries.” It all went to the bartender. It made my close friends distant and my parents were convinced they were going to have to bury me. I hurt a lot of people; I carried a lot of guilt.
I realized I had more to live for, but I knew I couldn’t do it alone. So I called my parents and they picked me up from the hotel room – a place that I’ve never returned.
After I hit bottom in the hotel room, I came close to death and almost became homeless. And then I decided to get sober. It was a life or death decision. I realized I had more to live for, but I knew I couldn’t do it alone. So I called my parents and they picked me up from the hotel room – a place that I’ve never returned.
I stayed at my parent’s house while I kicked the shakes on my own, which was incredibly scary. My mother and father stood by me the whole way, helping me through the toughest part of recovery: The first sixty days. Their moral support and love was the rock from which I gained confidence.
Over two years later, I am better than I’ve ever been in my life. I earned an associates degree, but decided to go back to school and get my bachelors in counseling. I dealt with all my legal problems with bravery and got through them all. I have a wonderful girlfriend who makes every day special.
I have reinvented myself, which is one of the perks of sticking out sobriety and working your own program. I had the opportunity to switch careers, and now work in behavioral health at an addiction recovery house. I gave up sitting on a bar stool for twenty mile mountain bike rides.
Spiritually, physically, and mentally, I’m a new person. And I am proud of myself for a change.
The happiness that comes with sobriety takes patience; you will not change overnight. Work the 12-steps. Meet new friends. Take a look at yourself and decide what kind of person you want to be. You can find the peace you so desperately seek. Just take it day by day.