RECOVERY STORY OF THE MONTH
Sobriety Date: June 2, 2020
My name is Lou B. and I am an Alcoholic. For years I was in various states of denial, anger, and fear. I was missing God, Faith, Acceptance, and Willingness. Without those I bounced around rehabs, hospitals, and the rooms of AA with varying levels of success and a lot of learning experiences.
I am 41 years old, come from a great family, am the oldest of 3 children, and my parents are still together today. I was raised and taught right from wrong from the start, and had a normal childhood growing up in a Blue Collar hard working family. Alcohol was never present in our house. It was really never spoke about that I remember. There were stories of family members having their issues with alcohol, but those stories never deterred me from doing what I wanted to do. My first drink was really nothing special. I didn’t know that day my life had changed. At first I thought I was just being a normal Teenager. I would drink on the weekend, or whenever I could get my hands on it, but my first love was Weed. Loved it, needed it, freaked out without it. Insanity.
After graduation, I quickly turned into an everyday drinker. I went off to College and made it there a year and a half. Before I was asked/told to leave the University. Once I discovered that Mommy did not get a phone call if I wasn’t in class, drinking became my first priority, and I even picked up some new bad habits. I came back to Cleveland, and moved back in with My Parents, and younger siblings. Everyone was ecstatic. My Dad found me a small job at the grocery store downtown, and I am unsure how long I worked there, but I collected a paycheck there until they also asked/told me to leave because my position had been eliminated.
I then fell into what has become quite a career for me, even though I have been asked/told to leave at a couple different points during it. I found a career (with the help of my Mother and the threat of being homeless) where many of the employee’s and customer’s partied like I did, and then some. I was happy. At this time I was a semi-functioning alcoholic. I did well at work. My personal life was filled with chaos and havoc. I was paid a good deal of money, but was always broke. I kept getting promoted, and it just afforded me the ability to buy more booze. I was completely unpredictable. I was struggling to go to work every day. I did not know it at the time, but today, I know I was going through alcoholic withdraw each day, until I was able to drink. I lost a bunch of weight. I was lying to everyone. No one believed anything I said. I was drinking at least two fifth’s a night. My world was very small, and I was at the end.
I was struggling to go to work every day. I did not know it at the time, but today, I know I was going through alcoholic withdraw each day, until I was able to drink.
I went into my first detox in the summer of 2013. I was a complete wreck. I had no idea the adventure I was beginning. Some people were shocked when I took my first leave of absence to get sober. Others, like my poor Mother told me she had been praying for the day when I went to my first detox.
I went to detox, and figured that was the end. I was now sober. Didn’t listen to any of the volunteers that came in and told their stories, I wasn’t “one” of them. I was good. The little red book they left on my bed scared me. I read a few pages, and it was like someone was in my head, writing down my thoughts, but I still didn’t think it could help me. I got out of that detox, and immediately went against everyone’s wishes and returned to work right away, and talked my way into IOP. I made it 10 days out of detox before drinking again. I worked for about 6 days, before I started drinking on a lunch break. I made it 3 days into IOP. I think I went to 1 meeting in that time, and had no interest in anything the program of Alcoholics Anonymous had to offer. I quickly stopped going to work, and was eventually fired from the Company, that I truly believed never could. Insanity. I argued with my District Manager, I needed my insurance for my rehabs. He told me that he needed capable employees’, to show up for work every day, not drunk. I was offended.
That sparked off a number of more trips to detoxes, mental wards, and a couple of rides in police cars. I was unemployable, unwanted and erratic and always scheming a way for a couple of bucks for a bottle. Sleeping in a truck bed in my parents drive way, or in parks, seemed like a better idea to me than getting sober and joining AA.
I came back to the Keating Center for a second time. Asking for a bed, begging for a bed, another shot a sobriety. My family had no idea where I was.
In May of 2014 I was completely broken. I came back to the Keating Center for a second time. Asking for a bed, begging for a bed, another shot a sobriety. My family had no idea where I was. Some of them didn’t even want to talk to after viewing my act and dealing with the consequences for so long. About 30 days in, I was working a small humble job, and God took over, and I asked for help. I got a sponsor. I worked the steps. I went to meetings, I was active. And I stayed Sober for 2 ½ years. I got drunk because I never grew spiritually, and I only made Amends that I thought would go favorably. I did not give a full effort. It triggered another year and a half of misery, for everyone.
In April of 2018, I was once again kicked out of my career field, my family, and couldn’t stop drinking. I once again got sober. I stayed Sober for another 2 years. I failed to grow spiritually. I stopped working with a sponsor, I refused to make some of the Amends that were on my original 4th step, and I decided it was a good idea to “have a couple of drinks on a Friday” on Monday I was admitted into the ICU for four days. I was done.
My sobriety date is June 2nd 2020. Today, I have a God of my understanding. I have a sponsor and a support group. I have meetings that I am accountable to, and active at. I became willing to make Amends to everyone. I don’t want to drink anymore, not today, tomorrow, or in 2 years. I got back into the steps. I started, and continue to talk with God. I used to despise even that word. I have walked out of step work with sponsors, completely zoned out of meetings, and did everything to avoid God. All that got me was back into detox, and a new sobriety date. I by no means am a Spiritual Guru, or Master. I just try and show gratitude and kindness each day. I ask for guidance and pray for patience and understanding. This past year plus has been the rockiest of any of my previous stints in sobriety. But I have open ears and a mind, and am accepting and welcoming of help. I would not have made it thru this year without the love and support I receive on a daily basis.
The Amends I was afraid of, and unwilling to make, I have made. It has freed me, and opened doors I thought were permanently closed, or had no idea even existed.
Today, I can say that my name is Lou Bacho and I am an alcoholic. I am open and honest about it. I don’t hide from it. I address it each morning when I wake up, and am grateful of it when I put my head on my pillow at night. The Amends I was afraid of, and unwilling to make, I have made. It has freed me, and opened doors I thought were permanently closed, or had no idea even existed. I am freed of bondage of self. The anger that kept me sick for so long isn’t weighing on me each day. There are some moments that it crops up, but today I ask for help with it, and apply the solution to it. The career I threw away twice, I have been blessed with a third opportunity. On the First of November I start with a new company that without God and AA I could never dream of.
Most importantly my family, the people I tormented the most. I am an active and welcomed member to our family. I have made amends to them all, several times. I also have stopped making false promises, and allow my actions to do the talking. I am the proud God Father to my little niece, who has never seen her Uncle Lou drunk, and never has to. My parents can call me and know that I will be there when I say I will, and show up sober and productive. The relationships are still healing, but they are growing as well.
I know from my countless rehabs and detoxes that not one place or person will keep you sober. But I was given this opportunity to change my life because of the Ed Keating Center, and all of the men and women that put their time and effort into making sure people like me have an opportunity to change. I have met people in my time at the Keating Center that have become family. They are irreplaceable in my sobriety. My immediate family even considers some of them family. I heard a woman speak at a meeting a couple of weeks ago, and she said that during her stay in a place like ours that she needed to ‘practice’ being an adult. Practice getting a paycheck. Practice being sober and living life. Without the Keating Center I would have had no opportunity to learn how to and practice being a sober person, member of society, of my family. For that I will be forever grateful. God Bless, and Thank You for the opportunity to share my story, and to better my life, and the ones around me.