2012 to 2013 were my hardest drinking days. My son would leave Friday night and spend the weekend with his grandparents. I took this as the time to drink until I threw up or blacked out. And I blacked out every single time I drank. When I was blacked out, I would fight friends, throw up on myself, and pee myself as well.
The support my wife got – my wife who I tortured for a long time, and who probably couldn’t believe her life had come to this – was incredible. I stay as close as I can with the people in my circle. I keep it tight and talk to somebody in recovery every day. I don’t go to bed with an issue; if I have something going on, I let people know. Thank God I had the opportunity to go to Herren Wellness and slowly they made me feel like I could do this.
I was one of those people who if someone put something in front of me, I would take it. Patrick’s road to recovery has been long and difficult, but in the end, rewarding. His substance use began when he was a teenager.
Typing that sentence feels absolutely surreal because 365 days ago, the idea of not drinking alcohol for just one week was totally unfathomable, let alone one entire year. On April 12, 2021, I was so in the grips of alcohol use disorder that I truly believed having to remove it from my life was a removal of joy, a removal of happiness, a removal of comfort. As dramatic Top 5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing Sober House as this sounds, it felt like a death sentence at the time. At first, I wasn’t sure if I would go back and get my Valley Hope cup after that first year of sobriety. Yet, after I left Atchison, I would drive down every third Friday for Renewal day from Nebraska City. I could see other one-year alumni receiving their cups and how happy and proud they were.
Although it is sad to see some fall back, true light shines through and that’s why 90 days in recovery with as many meetings help so much. It builds a strong support system that many of us thrive on. I was told by my first sponsor to make a list of things I would like to have or do in life, and before I knew it this list would start getting checked off as I worked my program of recovery. I am 5 years sober now, and I realized that my list wasn’t extreme or long enough. My BIG things on that list are happening.
When I bluntly pointed out that the only relationship in his life not in jeopardy was the one he had with alcohol, he was unmoved. Gary V came in to see me for a client interview, and no sooner had he sat down than I suspected he was under the influence of some drug. He tried to discuss the circumstances of his arrest, but his slurred speech made it almost impossible to understand him. I finally told him to leave and only come back if he was sober, and wanted my help in staying that way.