Richie’s story

When I came to Cleveland in September of 2016 to live at the Ed Keating Center, my life was a nightmare. The people who I loved most, my family, were fed up with my antics. I had done nothing but take from them, not only material things, but also their time, personal ambitions and motivations. I had a tiny glimpse of sobriety before this for a couple months, but my own devices convinced me that I was different and could do just one more. I walked through the breezeway on 117th in the early morning of September 2016, and for the first time in my life didn’t have any answers. I felt lonely, scared and out of place. My family, who lived an hour away in Niles, OH, notified me that I could live at the center for three months and move back home. The minute I met Marty Taft he told me that I’m angry and that I can do this. He kept reiterating to me “stay in the process.” He placed me with a sponsor on my first night of being there.The first couple of days my willingness for recovery was non-existent.

The first couple of days my willingness for recovery was non-existent.

However, then a change occurred. I began to do something that I was doing in the past, and that was get down on my knees and pray. I did not know exactly what I was praying too, but the humbling effect that it has on me was something that I overlooked. The next week passed and I began to attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous with other members from the facility. I started to hear things that I was relating too and these ladies and gentleman were staying sober no matter what the causes. As I began to get further into the steps of AA and started to take more of an in-depth look at myself, miracles began to happen.

For the past two years, my family has begun to come back into my life and I am learning how to build a relationship again and actually appreciate people. Marty and the Ed Keating Center taught me to be unselfish and to help other drunks. I have learned that there are people in AA that can help me with any situation and to not be afraid. I am taught to stay committed to whatever I want to accomplish in life, and God will control the outcome. My time at the Ed Keating Center taught me values about life that I still use to this day. Today, due to Alcoholics Anonymous and The Ed Keating Center, all those things I once thought I lost for good, are in my life and stronger than ever. I have a career path that I enjoy taking part in and I have made the greatest friends. I continue to help people in AA when I am available, and to stay connected with The Ed Keating Center. I am forever grateful for Marty and the chance he gave me to stay sober, one day at a time.

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