Name: Rob Van Pelt
Sober Since: 09 / 13 / 1991
Sober For: 31 Years & 205 Days
What it was like?
Discovered alcohol as a tool to cope at 10 years old. By the time I was 18, I was homeless, living out of my car, on an all liquid diet of cheap wine easily purchased by anyone with a pulse on the South Side of Chicago.
A friend that I had been quite the mischievous vandal with in our adolescence had seen my car, stopped by and offered to buy me a meal...it was a lie. He took me to an A.A. Meeting in Blue Island, convincing me that there would be a pot luck dinner. He drove, and I was stuck. I remember seething in anger at his con..,but I also remember a guy speaking who sounded like me, but he didn’t look like me at all...I can’t remember what he said, but I knew he wasn’t miserable. I haven’t had a drink since that day.
What it is like now?
My sobriety defines me in every way. Tenacious, altruistic, guarded, constantly looking for opportunities to be of service, and being reminded of my humanity and faults in equal measure. I have a Masters degree, after dropping out of high school, I am a husband, a father, and a worthy friend to many. Looking the World in the eye isn’t a shameful experience...I remember when it was. And I’m unwilling to return to that state of being.