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Sober Nation

Putting Recovery On The Map

Name: Robert Apple

Age: 64

Sober Since: 14 / / 1/28

Sober For: 5 Years & 233 Days

What it was like?

Well, of course horrible, but it didn't start that way. In the beginning drugs and alcohol made my life better (or so I thought). I was less shy, more articulate, more brave, and less anxious. After many years of low grade depression and anxiety, I thought that I had found a cure for this; drugs and alcohol. I rode this train for four years until I could no longer do it anymore without facing certain death. In the end that train wrecked in a horrible fiery crash and I was onboard. Did I see this coming? Of course I did. I just didn't care. I was riding a bright shiny new train that seemed as if I could go anywhere I wanted to. This train was so comfortable and I had the whole thing to myself. This train allowed me to deal with life through the trains window. I was safe on this train, the world and all of it's problems were just something I observed through the window. It was perfect! Nope! the train went off the tracks and I had to get off.

What happened?

In one calendar year I was hospitalized four times and went to three rehabs. After my first rehab, I went home feeling good and committed to staying sober. Two months later I was walking by my local liquor store and stopped to look through the window. I said to myself "you know, you really aren't an alcoholic, why not get a bottle, go home, have a couple of shots, and call it a night. This is exactly what I did. I really don't remember what happened to that simple plan, but I wound up back on the train again. When I boarded the train this time I noticed something: the train was no longer bright and shiny it was worn and somewhat dirty. I ignored this change and sat back to enjoy the ride. I could still see the world through the train window but it seemed farther way and not in focus. I didn't let any of this bother me because I felt safe and comfortable again. Three months later the train crashed. This time it was more violent. I survived the crash and my friends and family took me to another rehab. Once again, I got out of rehab feeling good with all the best intentions. Something was different now, something troubling. My friends and family were mistrusting of me. Yes, they were cordial but they no longer had faith in me and I could tell. Losing the respect of my friends and family was eating at me every day. I longed for the train again and the peace and respite it could provide. I knew the train was dangerous but I couldn't stop thinking about it. All alone now, I was becoming desperate. My life was full of anxiety and doubt. I couldn't function normally I felt like I was going crazy. Out of desperation I boarded the train again. This time the train was decrepit and filthy. There was a omni present smell that was unpleasant. This odor smell like something had died. Once again I ignored all of this because I needed this train and all of the comfort it could offer. The train made a horrible grinding noice as it left the station. I ignored all of this and just concentrated on the comfort I was feeling leaving all my troubles behind. The ride was sweet and blissful. It was night and I was exhausted. I decided to sleep until morning. When morning broke I looked out the window, it was dark I couldn't see anything. I checked my watch, it was 10:00 am. I was confused. Why can't I see the world out my window? I started to panic! Then I heard a loud grinding screeching sound followed by a huge boom. I went unconscious. Then, faintly I could hear my daughter's voice. She spoke in a stern voice: "get your things, you are going with me. I was taken to my last rehab and unceremoniously dropped off.

What it is like now?

Here at my last rehab I found the will to live again without drugs and alcohol. I made a pledge to not disappoint my friends and family anymore. I made a commitment to change and to be honest in all my affairs. After leaving rehab I went to live in a Sober Living Home(SLH). It was here at the SLH that I found a new train to ride. This new train was engineered by me. I was in control of my life and my own happiness. I started attending meetings daily. I volunteered for two service commitments in AA as a secretary. I accepted the position as assistant house manager at the SLH and later became the manager. I had initially thought I would be at the SLH of six months, but I stayed for two and a half years. I was manager for two of those years. At the SLH I was able to make the necessary changes to my life. I changed my diet from horrible to clean and organic. I took up weightlifting and made my body stronger. Most importantly I changed my old self indulgent ways. Lastly and probably the most important thing I did was lear to face my fears in life. My motto now is "if you are not facing your fears you are going the wrong direction. I have left the SLH and now spend my time blogging about addiction, recovery and SLH's. I wrote a book about my experiences at the SLH which will be out in 2017. Overall I am grateful to have survived the train wreck. Today I am totally happy and content.

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