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Mark’s Personal Journey with Addiction

My name is Mark and I am a recovering alcoholic from Florida. I spent a great portion of my life as a slave to my disease resulting in severe isolation from friends and family as well as low self-esteem and self-worth. My life basically resembled one that was frozen in time. My life was filled with chaos, self-destruction and a lack of love for myself and others back then. I was hopeless and helpless. For 19 years I lived this way; I couldn’t stand myself, my own skin, and therefore was always trying to mask any and all emotion with booze. My drinking has caused me to crash cars, fracture my neck, and literally left me for dead at the scene once before too. My Mom would tell me that “God must have a really big plan for my life” but I would just brush it off as “that’s just what Moms say”. No time was off limits for me to drink but one morning at 2:30 a.m, I was woken up by a strong urge to take a drink and that’s when I decided to enter treatment. I completed two treatment programs and each relapse was worse than the one before. There came a point when I wanted to end my life and this disease finally brought me to my knees and forced me to make a decision: Fight for my life or die an alcoholic death? I reached the point where all I had was a little bit of willingness to change and take advice from the men and women of AA that have come before me.

December 30, 2016 became my new and hopefully last sobriety date. I took a 3 day greyhound bus ride from Florida to California….I felt broken mid-detoxing and had no idea what type of life was in store for me. I started working steps, obtained a sponsor, and even a spiritual advisor. I put in actual work, volunteering at the AA central office, became a mentor for others, managed a sober house, and even started working in a detox facility. I am currently enrolled in college to become a substance abuse counselor. My journey went from Florida to California and now to the beautiful state of Texas. I currently work in the substance abuse/mental health field, such as the lovely Sage Recovery & Wellness Center, trying to give back and help others who have struggled as I once had. I am forever grateful for all the behavioral health techs, counselors, and therapists who have helped me along the way. One important realization I had throughout my journey was that a little bit of willingness can go a long way. Some of my best friends are in recovery and have been there for me when tragedy struck my family. With God, work, family, and my support group, I was able to stay sober through it all. I absolutely love my life today and everyone in it. Life has never been so good and continues to get better each and every day that I am sober!