Zach’s story

Zach S.
sobriety date – 2/1/16

On October 23, 2012 I walked into The Ed Keating Center for the very first time. At the age of 21, I had never been to a sober living facility or had any interaction with a 12-step program for that matter. Walking into the Keating Center, I had a small duffle bag full of clothes (that hadn’t been washed in months), no money, no contact with my family and a hopeless state of mind. I spent the next four years going in and out of The Keating Center. I would stay for a few months, put on a show for everyone around me that I was doing better, and I would ultimately pick up again. Time after time I would build up the people who loved me the most, just to rip the rug out from under them again. I treated the Keating Center like my personal frat house, with no regard for anyone else. I’d return to work, after sitting 1/2 way, just to make myself feel better with material things or a woman. I could never understand why I couldn’t stay sober. The problem was that I never did the work on changing who I was or filling that god-shaped hole inside of me.

The problem was that I never did the work on changing who I was or filling that god-shaped hole inside of me.

After my last high, I realized how my life was going to end…constantly in and out of the center, and/or an early death. With my second daughter on the way, I decided it was time to try something different. I got a sponsor, who was not the type of sponsor I usually picked. I began to work steps. I started to give back what was so freely given to me by that 12-step program and The Ed Keating Center.

In the past three years my life has drastically changed. I have become an active member of the 12-step program that saved my life. I have started to learn how to be a father to my children. I have learned how to be a sponsor. I have learned how to be a son. These were all things I never thought I could become. My selfishness and self-centeredness caused me to believe that I was unable to have feelings for another human being. I get the opportunity to give back. The Keating Center is now a place that will always be considered a second home. I get to go back there and help guys, just like people did when I lived there.

… the Center and its Director took me back time after time.

The 12-step program I belong to has given me so much. From the age of 15-25, I never had a positive outlook on life – no sense of excitement for the future. Every morning I wake up and hit my knees to say my prayers, and I have a sense of excitement for my life. I could never repay that 12-step program or the Keating Center for what they have given to me and my family. Especially because the Center and its Director took me back time after time. I will forever be grateful to that place. I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to repay what was given to me.