Mark’s story

RECOVERY STORY OF THE MONTH!

Mark A.
Sobriety date: February 20, 2017

My name is Mark and I am an alcoholic. I am 28 years old and from Mentor, Ohio. I have struggled with addiction for 14 years, and I am here today to tell you there is a SOLUTION and there is HOPE. I am a bottom-of-the-barrel alcoholic who had no hope of recovery until I began working a 12-step program. I’ve tried doing it my way for 14 years and it has always led to a dark place. Always seemed to hurt the ones that cared for me the most—that’s what this disease does to me. I lie, cheat, steal, and manipulate the people that have done nothing but been there for me through thick and thin. In active addiction, I would go to any length to get what I needed, no matter the cost. Going to the darkest places and being content, thinking this is just what my life will be. Today my outlook on life is extremely positive. Thanks to a 12-step program, I have hope and a solution that I am able to give to other alcoholics.

Always seemed to hurt the ones that cared for me the most—that’s what this disease does to me.

The first time I was in treatment was in 2014, at Jones Road (East Cleveland Ed Keating Center). I was sentenced by the courts to complete the 9-month program. I was released from jail and driven to Jones Road. Full of fear and not sure what to expect, I knew anything was better than jail. As soon as I got there I was already shooting angles, and after only 88 days I was kicked out for breaking the rules. Like I said earlier, I always did it my way, and once again I found myself in a predicament. I called my probation officer, as well as Marty, and explained the situation and Marty let me come to the Keating Center on the West Side (The Rock).

As soon as I got there I was already shooting angles, and after only 88 days I was kicked out for breaking the rules.

Between jail and Jones Road I was free of drugs and alcohol for six months at that time, so when I arrived at the Keating Center on the West side, I was able to go to work. I had a sponsor by name and never worked a program of recovery, which ultimately led to my demise. Without a 12-step program in my life, I relapsed after putting together 11 dry months. I was kicked out of the Keating Center and was on the run for the umpteenth time in my life. Back on the streets, living out of my car, I burned all my bridges and had nowhere to turn.

In February of 2017 I came back to the Keating Center, after losing 60 lbs in three weeks because of my addiction. Malnourished and full of despair, the director of the Keating Center (Marty Taft) opened his doors and took me in. Without hesitation he let me come back to the Keating Center for the second time. Sick, and at a loss of words, I had nowhere else to turn, but Marty gave me another chance at starting a new life. It was on me to make the most of it.

I was broken and lost, with nothing but fear running my life.

Coming back to the Keating Center in 2017 I knew something had to change, I just didn’t know what. I was broken and lost, with nothing but fear running my life. I put my huge ego aside and started taking suggestions. Found a sponsor (not just by name), an actual sponsor. I found a home group (which I still attend every week) and a solid support group. I was told early on that I had to “Talk or Die”, which meant open up and get honest, or relapse and play Russian Roulette with my life once again. I was sick and tired of feeling so empty inside and living in fear. I got thoroughly honest and, for the first time in my life, I started working a 12-step program.

Looking back on it now, it has changed my life in ways I never imagined. My family trusts me, I have true friends today, true emotions, real relationships, peace of mind, acceptance, faith, and most importantly a 12-step program. Today I am able to spread the message and give back what was freely given to me. I am forever indebted to the Keating Center and Marty Taft for giving me multiple chances. The Keating Center is more than just a sober living facility. It works miracles if you let it, and it saves lives if willing. It’s a chance at a new way of life and an opportunity to become a better human being, one day at a time

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