Story of an Alcoholic in Recovery
When identifying myself as an alcoholic the common response I get is, “Oh you must have had a troubled past.” In reality my past was troubled, but only once I had started to experiment with drugs and alcohol. I was fortunate to have grown up in a very loving home and was given every opportunity to succeed in life. I grew up in an household that attended church weekly and I played sports my whole childhood. I was taught from a very young age the importance of self worth. The harsh reality of the disease of addiction including being an alcoholic is that it doesn’t care what your childhood was like, what your family situation was or how old you are. Once it takes a hold of you it drags you into a world so dark, no one deserves to experience it. Somewhere around the age of 12 I started to get this silly idea that I needed to “fit-in” with the cool kids in school and I looked for a sense of belonging in all the wrong places.
Slowly but surely over the period of my teenage years all the moral compasses that had been ingrained in me started to vanish. By the time I decided to go to college at the age of 21 I was in full-blown party mode and the alcoholic in me was starting to shine. I really only went to school to experience the joys of college residence and the social atmosphere. At the time I thought that my intentions were in order but I would soon find out that was not the case. I would spend the next ten years trying to find a manageable way to drink and drug while maintaining a sustainable life. That proved to be absolutely impossible. In my last two years of addiction I found myself doing things that I swore I would never do.
Never at any point did I believe, or was I willing to admit, that my life was completely unmanageable or that I really was an alcoholic. I had this deluded idea that even though I couldn’t keep a job, I was always able to find a work and survive. This disease had completely taken hold of me and brought me to places I thought I would never be. Even though there were clear cut signs that I was fully engulfed in addiction, I was not able to admit it and so was unable to do anything about it. I used to have drinking buddies that would tell me that I needed to get help but I never wanted to listened. I even had a couple scary near death experiences due to my drinking and that didn’t stop me either.
It wasn’t until I found myself in a legal bind that brought me to Together We Can in Sept of 2013 for the first time. I wish I could tell you that I was able to “get” it the first time but the truth is I just wasn’t ready. Again, I didn’t want to listen, and I definitely didn’t have an open mind about going there. The positive piece is that the seed was planted and when I was finally ready to surrender I knew exactly where to go. Together We Can welcomed me back with open arms giving me a second chance to help me get my life back on track. The fear of just “existing” outweighed my fear of coming back. I will never forget the conversation I had with my mom a couple days before coming back to TWC, where she said to me, “Peter we will no longer force you to do anything, we just want our little boy back.”
Unfortunately, I will never be that little boy again, however, I firmly believe I am on my way to becoming the man I was intended to be. This has all been made possible because of Together We Can. They offer a safe, clean environment in which they teach you how to put your past behind you and work on yourself in the present day allowing you to strive for a better future. At this point in my life I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I have new- found passions and have rekindled some old ones as well.
TWC has had such a positive impact on me that I decided to stay and become a volunteer to help keep me connected, and to help the new-comer in any way that I can. With the right attitude and an open mind this place just works. I can attest to this as I am writing this on my 6 month milestone in sobriety. I am so grateful to have behind me the support that I have today including my family, who I miss very much on the other side of the country. A special thank you to Together We Can and all those who impacted my life in such a positive way.