Chris M's Sober Living Success Story - Real Recovery Solutions
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Chris's Sober Living Success Story

Chris's Sober Living Success Story

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Sobriety Date:3/2/2018
Age: 36
Drug(s) of Choice: Everything!
Alumni Interview Date: 11/23/2022

Though it may be impossible to imagine, there is a life outside of drugs/alcohol and recovery/happiness is possible.

– Christopher M.

Chris' Story

The son of two hard-working, loving parents was born on the 25th of December 1985. I spent most of my childhood moving around the North- East in tandem with my parents. Their pursuit of providing my brother, sister, and me the best life possible, made it possible to visit and live in many different places. At the moment it was exciting and I seized the opportunity to meet and make new friends wherever I would be. This habit carried with me throughout the rest of my life. In one sense it was great to explore new areas and have new experiences and on the
other hand, I quickly came to believe that people, places, and things were all only temporary. Somewhere, in between moves and an attempt to self-identify; Alcoholism started to take hold. Toward my early adolescence, it became my duty to run my life. Not far from that moment, I start drifting away from “apart-of” to “apart-from”.

The first physical consequences started happening after the, then unexplainable, internal discomforts. As a direct result of making desperate, poor decisions in an attempt to somehow “fix me” I started experimenting with anything I had access to that in some way might change the way I felt. Including but not limited to general disobedience, unjustified rebellion, lies, theft, violence (mostly self-inflicted), sex, drugs, and…

In the beginning, most of these things were harmless experiments without great consequences or sacrifice. An attempt to “feel better” or “have more fun”. It didn’t take long before I noticed that I was only enjoying myself when these variables were involved. And then, in short order, I rarely had “fun” at all. Consecutive years of terrible consequences and trying to arrange the perfect formula to drink/drug successfully led me down deep into the abyss of hopelessness. In the end; the substance was a necessity, more essential than life itself. The dynamic of my life had reduced to a cycle of recidivism and relapse. I would use, continue using until I was arrested, sit in jail, swear I would never make the same again, get released, and immediately start using again. I was stuck in this tragic loop from my late teens through my early 30s. This lifestyle I had become too adjusted to, existing on sub-human levels for so long, hope so long gone that I had just accepted this to be what my life was and would always be. Until one day something happened… I had been placed in an AA/NA dorm while incarcerated and a speaker came in. A man who only came to share his experience, strength, and hope. This man who never knew my name or looked me in the face spoke his Truth. My Truth. He spoke about Alcoholism and Addiction as a disease, the symptoms, and some of the consequences he experienced. He spoke the facts of my life. Specifics are so clear, so exact that I, could not have as well described them. Things one could ONLY know through personal experience. As I looked at this man, casually and transparently describing my darkness; my void, the absence of life, I could not ignore that this man was no longer consumed by this disease. He smiled and laughed. Impossible tasks for me at that moment. “BUT HOW?!?” I couldn’t help but wonder. That’s the moment when the pain was exactly great enough for me to be willing to try to do something other than what I had always done. Follow suggestions. After serving a sentence with the DOC, and being sentenced 18 months into recovery, I knew exactly what I needed to do when I got out. To reach out, ask for help, and put me “In the middle of the herd”.

So with more than 2.5 years of continuous sobriety, recently released from prison and in a brand new town, I did what I did in the beginning. I followed the suggestions. I got connected, got a local sponsor, got involved with service, dug into my program as a priority, and everything else fell into place. I am so grateful for the fellowship community at and around Real Recovery. Excellent people, serious about their recovery and hungry for service work and spiritual development. November 1st marked two years since my release from prison. A tremendous mile marker for multiple reasons. 1) It’s the longest consecutive time I have spent without being incarcerated as an adult. 2) That in such a short time I have been blessed with more opportunities than even my furthest-stretched imagination could conjure. The most important is that my spiritual body, once identified as the bottomless abyss, the chasm in my chest, is abundantly filled. That I have continued to expand on my connection with a power greater than myself. The vast majority of my life today is filled with love and gratitude. The most difficult part of getting sober was Step #1. I could not, for anything, not pick up. Or, once having picked up, then put it down me. The mental obsession and physical compulsion were my juggernauts. Completely undefeated with self-will alone. In hindsight, the greatest relief I have received is from thoroughly working 1,2,3 daily. An absolute understanding of step 1. I AM AN ALCOHOLIC. Step 2, I cannot go to the problem (me) for a solution. Step 3 is an honest desire to seek and do gods will (application of spiritual principles). The more I applied this to my daily life, the more my life started to change.

If you think you might have a problem, please learn what it means to suffer from alcoholism/addiction, and then ask for help. Though it may be impossible to imagine, there is a life outside of drugs/alcohol and recovery/happiness is possible. Relapse is not a declaration of the failure of the program, but rather a testament to the chronic nature of the disease. Don’t give up. Regular prayer/meditation, continued spiritual development and rigorous work with other alcoholics are how I continue to stay sober. One day at a time.

Very gratefully yours, Christopher M.

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