I turn 30 years old today. I vaguely remember my birthday 2 years ago. If I recall, that birthday consisted of drinking vodka and popping Vicodin in bed at my parent’s house. I could not muster the courage or strength to leave my room, let alone leave the house. I was full of fear, afraid of everyone, and everything. Alcohol and drugs were my master. Twelve years of drinking, partying, and drug use had finally caught up with me. I had conceded that this was what my life was going to look like. I was going to die an alcoholic death or take my own life. It’s not what I wanted, but those two options were all I knew.
In a couple weeks I will have two years of continuous sobriety. When I look back on days like the one mentioned above, I do not sit in morbid reflection. Memories such as those remind me just how much I have to be thankful for, just how far I have come. Today I have a nice place of my own to live, a great job with a good salary, countless friends, and a family I can be present for. My life is full today. I cannot convey what it is like for someone like me to wake up and be excited for the day.
My journey to sobriety began at The Last Resort. I remember my first day. I was scared to death, I could no longer hide out. I was immediately surrounded by men who were like me, but somehow looked different. They were happy! How was this possible? I wanted what they had. Even the staff was “like” me. They told me, “I get it” and I knew they understood. I was given a routine, I was given responsibility. In 90 days, I learned more about myself than in the previous 28 years. They told me why I do the things I do, and how to use my disastrous past to help others. I made friends that I will have the rest of my life. These men are my brothers, my family.
The Last Resort saved my life. Today I am grateful to be an alcoholic and addict. Today I can look people in the eye. The Last Resort showed me how to be rid of selfishness, and how to be of use to my fellows. They led me to God, who ultimately keeps me sober. There is no greater “high” than telling another alcoholic/addict, “There is a solution, it gets better”, and watching them get well. Thank you to the Men and Women of the Last Resort and the family I made there.