RECOVERY STORY OF THE MONTH
Sobriety Date: February 21, 2020
My name is Jason and I am an alcoholic. It took me 44 years to realize it. And is something I am not ashamed to say today. I can walk around today with my head up and some confidence. I can thank AA for that.
I grew up in an alcoholic household. Some of my first memories I remember being a selfish and self-centered middle child of 3. Stealing and lying were easy for me when I was a kid. I had my first drink in 5th grade and I liked it. Every chance I got I was sneaking sips from my dad’s drinks because it made me feel good. From the age of 15 to the age of 37, I had a substance in my system to help me get out of myself and escape feeling any feelings I didn’t want to deal with. I always looked for the easy way out. The last few years of my use were chaotic and out of control. I knew there was a problem, but felt like I needed drugs and alcohol to cope with life. In actuality, I was too scared to sober up and deal with life and all the emotions that came with it.
From the age of 15 to the age of 37, I had a substance in my system to help me get out of myself and escape feeling any feelings I didn’t want to deal with.
My brother convinced me to give treatment a try in 2014. He had tried for a couple years to get me to go but I wasn’t listening to him. I went to a facility in Baltimore and it was definitely not what I imagined it would be. I managed to make it through the 45-day lockdown but used the very first day I was allowed to go to a meeting outside of the treatment center. I was in and out of that facility for the next year.
When I came back to Cleveland I manipulated and used whoever I could for the next 2 years. The summer of 2017 was the darkest and lowest time of my life. So I heard about the Keating Center and went there on October 26, 2017. I honestly wanted to stay sober and give the steps a try. I got a sponsor and started working the steps. I did all 12 of the steps and not much else after besides meetings. That lasted just over 6 months and then I relapsed. It was really hard for me to keep it together for the next 2 1/2 years. In and out of treatment and not letting any who was willing to help me. I took my will back and suffered because of it.
My last use was on 2/20/20. That last use landed me in jail and then back into a lockdown treatment for 30 days. Something finally clicked while I was in that treatment center and I haven’t looked back ever since. I came back to the Keating Center after those 30 days and became willing to stay in the process. It’s not all about me. I remind myself that every day. All of the bad things that happened to me later in life were of my own doing, and drugs or alcohol were more than likely a factor during those times.
Something finally clicked while I was in that treatment center and I haven’t looked back ever since.
So when I got back to the Keating center in March 2020 I got a sponsor and got right into the steps. I’ve gotten through them and still work them today. Life’s gotten a little easier in these last 11 months of sobriety, and I am not willing to give that up today. Whenever I have a thought, I say something to someone in my support group. I don’t let it fester anymore. I will act on those thoughts if I don’t say something.
I never aspired to be an alcoholic when I was young, but it’s the journey I chose and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’ve become a much better person and member of society because of it. Thank you alcoholics anonymous, and thank you to the Ed Keating Center for giving me another chance at life. I am forever grateful.