Marc A's Sober Living Success Story - Real Recovery
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Marc's Sober Living Success Story

Marc's Sober Living Success Story

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Sobriety Date: April 9th 2020
Age: 42
Drug(s) of Choice: Alcohol, cocaine, opiates, essentially More of EVERYTHING
Alumni Interview Date: July 28th 2022

I didn't want to do everything that was suggested, but I didn’t want to die or suffer any more. So I took the suggestions, and I’m grateful I did.

– Marc A.

Personal Background

Raised by a single mother, low income/welfare, a few sporadic father figures. My mother did the best she could however she did have some mental health issues. Always did well in school academically, socially I was always struggling to find a place I felt comfortable or accepted. I had self esteem issues, which in hindsight led to acting out with alcohol and drugs so I didn’t have to deal with the thoughts and emotions of inadequacy.

Recovery Background

I first experimented with alcohol at the age of 12. Over the next several years I ended up using most drugs recreationally. By the time I was 17 I had used every type of drug that was out there. Nothing had gotten ”out of control” at that point. At 22 my addiction to alcohol began it’s peak. Blackout drinking several times per week, two DUIs, multiple arrests, lost jobs, lying and the list of abhorrent behavior goes on.

The progression of my disease from the ages of 22 to 40 was constant. My behavior of regular and abusive use of alcohol only transitioned to everything I put into my body. Whether it was alcohol, opiates, hallucinogens, cocaine (in any form), etc. My behavior simply found a different way to manifest itself. All of this led to countless arrests and incarcerations, dishonesty, ruined relationships, hurting those around me, two trips to prison, two failed marriages. The list could go on… this is not my 4th step.

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

I was aware of AA through institutions, I even did a treatment center for 30 days to keep the courts off my back at one point. Ultimately my disease had to progress to a point of enough loss and pain for me to really surrender myself. I went to a treatment center in Tampa for 60 days. There I was introduced to a sliver of the person I truly was and was meant to be. I saw what recovery had done for others and it gave me hope. I didn’t want to do everything that was suggested, but I didn’t want to die or suffer any more. So I took the suggestions, and I’m grateful I did.

Marc's Journey at Real Recovery

How was your experience at Real Recovery?

It was good, it gave me an opportunity to transition from treatment into an accountable environment where I would still encounter lifes day to day challenges. I was new to dealing with everything life put my way in sobriety. To be around like minded individuals in recovery was exactly what I needed, it was the best post treatment option for me.

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

Seeing the lives of other men in early sobriety change so dramatically for the better each day was a very big motivator for me. I met guys who had interests and hobbies that they introduced me to and shared with me. I found out a lot about things I now love to do that I may have never tried.

What was the hardest or most challenging step for you?

The fifth step; Sharing and verbalizing my past honestly with another person was an experience that was extremely difficult, humbling and freeing all at once.

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

The ninth step, I carried a lot of baggage from my past behaviors and beginning the journey of making amends to those who I wronged helped me forgive myself for the person I once was.

After Real Recovery & Life In Sobriety Today

How’s life now?

I wake up in the morning and I like being me. I’m grateful for everything I have and live like I am truly grateful. I have a relationship with a higher power that helps me deal with life’s ups and downs. In the last two years plus I have continued to develop an amazing career, become a licensed contractor, start my own company, traveled to other countries and reestablished relationships I thought were lost for good. One of the best things about recovery is seeing other people get better and being able to be there for them physically, mentally and emotionally.

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

  1. Do the work, the 12 steps are work that is necessary for a life you can’t imagine.

  2. Participate, get involved with the fellowship of recovery. 

  3. Pay it forward, if you do the steps and get involved you will be able to help others in recovery in ways you don’t even know.

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

100% I do. The five things: Pray in the morning, read AA literature, talk to another person in recovery, go to a meeting, Pray at night. It changes and develops as my life grows, changes and develops. The fact of the matter is this is a “WE” program. I didn’t do this on my own, WE did this, together and I thank God everyday for it.

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