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Sober Nation

Putting Recovery On The Map

Name: Joe

Age: 46

Sober Since: 20 / 4 / 5/26

Sober For: 5 Years & 240 Days

What it was like?

If you happened to visit hell, would you hang out and pitch a tent? On May 23, 2014 I was in a hotel in Peoria, IL resigned to the fact that I wasn't coming out.  I had been there for 4 days, drinking and passing out, repeat.  I don't remember anything from those 4 days.  I was later told that I called a few people, one of them being my brother, who at the time lived in Vermont with his husband.  They dropped what they were doing, flew to Chicago, and drove 3 hours to Peoria.  I had told him where I was staying and when they got there, they were joined by police and hotel staff to gain access to my room.  Jon later said it was one of the saddest things he had ever seen.  After a few days in the hospital, Jon and Justin bought 3 plane tickets, and literally escorted me to the front door of a rehab facility in Boca Raton, FL.  

What happened?

What didn't happen? For 12 years my life slowly unravelled, but sobriety has allowed me to face the fact that my life was never ravelled. It was never put together. Alcohol and drugs allowed me to kick the can down the road. I was a mess. I knew i had a problem for a long time, and the damage i caused I was everywhere. What happened was I told myself to get busy living, or get busy dying.

What it is like now?

One of the most important qualities in a human being is massive self-awareness. Being able to look in the mirror and acknowledge your character defects, to see your part in the bridge between pain and peace. That is what its like now. I'm ok being ok. I'm not scared walking into the gym to see my boys play hoops. I don't wonder who's looking at me, when more than likely no one is looking at me. I've had hardships in the past 4 years, but I don't run from them. I face them with the guidance of my sponsor, and the program. There is a solution, there is only one solution. Getting to that acceptance can be painful, as it was for me, until AA showed me the solution. AA taught me to spit the hook, and I'm not alone anymore.

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