Wow, what a long strange trip it’s been. When I came out of my daze, I found a 50 year old man that was lost and had hit my bottom. Alcohol had helped drag me to the depth of my despair. Three trips to rehabs and I drank within days of my exits. Why? Here I was, a father of two great kids, I had a great career and had made some decent money. I own a nice house in a nice community. I am in a loveless marriage, but I am not the first or the last. I am a good, kind and caring person. Why and how did I turn out this way? Why couldn’t I just stop and put down the bottle?
My Last stop was a thirty day trip to the Brattleboro Retreat in VT. What I started to realize was that I had the disease of alcoholism. I had crossed a line that I could no longer be and had not been a social drinker for a long time. I had to bring it to simple terms. Just do not drink today! I could not do anything about previous days and the heck with tomorrow. Worry about today! I went to class everyday and learned about the disease and why I might be the way that I am. I also started to go to AA meetings on a daily basis and found out that there are lots of people that suffer from the same maladies that I had. Depression was one of them. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and be proactive instead of being reactive. It was suggested that I do not go back to my home and I should consider a sober environment.
My true sobriety started when I went to the Progress House in Amesbury. What I found was a nice clean environment with private rooms. It was one of the best decisions that I have made. I met some great guys that had similar issues. There were a lot of obstacles that I needed to be overcome with my addiction, health and family. I had to put my addiction at the top of the list or I could not overcome the rest of the issues. What I needed was accountability and structure to get this disease in remission. It was suggested that I attack my sobriety with the same gusto that I had attacked my parting days. I was told that I had a deadly disease that would kill me. If I just did not drink, went to meetings and asked for help, things would get better and I could keep the disease in remission. I took all the suggestions that were given. I went to over 260 meetings in my first 90 days at the progress house. I joined a AWOL group and completed the 12 steps of recovery as it was laid out in The Big Book. I received great counseling at the house and also found a good private counselor to help with life issues that I realized I had. From a guy that did not really want to go to live in a sober house. I spent two years at the Progress house working on myself and my addiction. What I did realize is that you will get better clarity over time. My life problems have not gone away but I have the ability to deal with them on life’s terms. I also found a high power that I choose to call God. I realized that he was there the whole time but I refused to let him be a part of my life. I am not a Bible banger but I did find spirituality.
I am back home with my children and taking on the daily challenges of life and single fatherhood. Life is good! To the sick and suffering that are still out there: There is a solution. I live life on life’s terms. I don’t drink. I go to meetings. I ask for help and call my sponsor. I help others that want to find sobriety. I am one of the lucky ones. I have a great mother and two wonderful sisters that never gave up on me. Without the help of the Progress House and the staff I do believe my life would be still spiraling out of control. To Mark, Brian, Sam and Jean a heartfelt thank you!!