Brett A's Sober Living Success Story - Real Recovery Solutions
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Brett's Sober Living Success Story

Brett's Sober Living Success Story

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Sobriety Date: 8/25/2020
Age: 49
Drug(s) of Choice: Alcohol
Alumni Interview Date: 11/23/2022

2nd time (at Real Recovery) I was fully surrendered.  I believe my bottom had been reached and I was ready to do it the AA way, not Brett's way.

– Bret A

Personal Background

Grew up in a small town in Ohio. The parents were divorced, mother was an alcoholic/addict. I played lots of sports to occupy my time so I wouldn’t have to be home. There was no abuse, just an absent mother who made up for it by spoiling me with “stuff”. I always felt I didn’t fit in, even though I had lots of friends, just always felt I was being judged or viewed as different. Self-Pity was a character defect from an early age.
I believe I came out of the womb an alcoholic, whatever I did I threw myself into 110%.

Recovery Background

The first time I drank (15 years old), I blacked out and everyone was telling how much fun we had, so I thought that was the way is was supposed to be. Given my mother’s history, I was always concerned so I never really drank very often, but when I did it was almost always to blackout.
After my daughter was born my wife was always with our daughter so I began to venture out, I had just lost a bunch of weight and was feeling better about my appearance. I began to drink more and more and I was a sloppy drunk, not mean just sloppy. My wife had enough and eventually left me, since no one was around to give me shit for it, I began to drink every day. I was still fully functioning, but drinking hard every night.
I have had 5 DUIs, which cost me many jobs as I would be too drunk to go to work, was homeless for 3 months and evicted from my parent’s house. Destroyed my relationship with my daughter as well as most of the rest of my family.

How were you introduced to the 12-step program and recovery?

After my 2nd DUI, part of my sentence was to attend 20 AA meetings.  I went to them with no intention of quitting, however, I met some great people and the seed was planted.  I still remember some of the things that were said in those very meetings.

Brett's Journey at Real Recovery

How was your experience at Real Recovery?

1st time I was at RR for 4+ months, went to meetings but didn’t have a sponsor.  I was still seeing a girl I had met before my stint in rehab.  I was not ready for a relationship, but being co-dependent I wasn’t ready to be alone either.  I let some issues with her take me back out.  In no time I racked up 2 more DUIs and ended up back in rehab.

2nd time I was fully surrendered.  I believe my bottom had been reached and I was ready to do it the AA way, not Brett’s way.  I got a sponsor, worked the steps, and got the fuck out of the way.  Stopped trying to force things and let things happen.  At about the 9-month mark I was fed up with a housemate and I was ready to move out.  I had the financial means etc.  Just after my mind was made up, I was approached to be a House Manager.  This was my higher power doing for me what I couldn’t do for myself.  I needed more time at Real Recovery.  So I used the time to work with others, save more money, get my credit right, and move on when I was more ready.  Oh and I completed my steps and got  sponsees 

Was there anything that you did while you were in sober living that you think made a difference this time?

Absolutely!!  Got a Sponsor, worked the steps, and got sponsees.  And got the fuck out of the way.  Can’t emphasize that enough for me, I stopped trying to impose my will into every situation or interaction.

What was the hardest or most challenging step for you?

The most work was step 4, I had to do up a lot of shit that I needed to deal with.

The hardest was honestly step 1.  Step 1 you have to fully surrender.  No matter how well I did steps 2-12 before, not doing step 1 fully always led me back out.  In my opinion, this one seems the easiest but you have to be fully committed to it.  Until this last time, I always had a reservation that made everything else I did irrelevant. 

Was there a step or a point where you felt that things shifted or that you got the most relief from?

For me step 9.  Even though they didn’t all go as planned, the large majority of them provided great relief. 

After Real Recovery & Life In Sobriety Today

How’s life now?

Life is great.  I have a wonderful job, a great girlfriend, still sober, and tons of friends.  I have money in the bank, and I’m seen as an asset by others instead of a nuisance.  People call me and ask me for advice and help.  It’s weird.

brett a billiards playing pool

What three things/tips would you tell your past self or share with someone considering sober living/recovery?

  1. Commit to it, and give yourself a chance.

  2. Go to meetings, get a sponsor, and work the steps, home group, and service work.

  3. Don’t be in such a hurry.

Do you have a daily routine that helps you stay sober?

Text my sponsees every morning, read daily reflection every morning.  I talk with my sponsor 3-4 times a week. I attend 3 meetings a week.

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