Todd R's Sober Living Success Story - Real Recovery Solutions
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Todd's Sober Living Success Story

Todd's Sober Living Success Story

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Sobriety Date: 12/9/2019
Age: 56
Drug(s) of Choice:  Alcohol
Alumni Interview Date: 3/9/2022

I was mad at God, mad at the world, and mad at my life. I was a real piece of work when I came. We all have different backgrounds and the way we believe and think. We all shared a common enemy. Addiction. We bonded over our fight to beat that addiction and struggle.

– Todd R.

Personal Background

I grew up in OKC, OK
I have an identical twin brother. It was just the 2 of us with my parents. No divorce or crap like that to deal with as a child. My brother and I were the kids your parent’s warned you to stay away from. “Don’t you dare hang out with those twin boys!” We were bad news for the middle-class kids we ran with. I experienced a lot with alcohol and drugs as a teenager. I should have known then I was an alcoholic, but it wasn’t talked about in my circles.

At the age of 16 my drug and alcohol issues were pretty bad. My brother along with my friends knew I couldn’t handle when or how much I consumed. I even knew I was out of control.

At 21, I married my high school sweetheart. I had known her pretty much all my life. Life was good. She was more than I could ever have hoped for as a wife. She was the love of my life, and I was a big-time speaker all over the country.

Recovery Background

About ten years into our marriage, I started to drink socially. I remember when I would buy wine coolers for special outings at the lake or other activities. I remember saying “I have got to be careful with these”. I don’t know why I said it, but I did. 

Fast forward almost 20 years. Social drinking was acceptable, and I didn’t think a thing about it. In 2015, my life came to a screeching halt. Again, I will spare you the details so you will keep reading. I lost my identity. I was a pastor at a church where everybody loved Todd. One day…. I woke up to the fact that I wasn’t the person I thought I was. 

My life came crashing down and guess who was there for me???? Alcohol!! What a friend that loved me so much!! That friend turned out to be the worst thing that ever happened to me. Life really started to spiral out of control the next several years. I was so lost in who I was and who this God was that I followed for so long. I lost my faith. I became an angry, self-centered jerk that I didn’t know or recognize. 

God had given me the greatest wife and kids that a husband/father could ever wish for in a family. I was quickly throwing all that away because of my anger and self-centered mind-set and darkened heart. I was deep and very dark depression. 

On December 8, 2019, I put a gun in my mouth on the phone with my brother and my wife of 33 years to pull the trigger. It is impossible with any words to explain why I would do such a selfish thing. All I could think of, in my sick drunkenness, was that their life without me would be so much better.  I pulled the gun away at the last second. My life had to get better. It surely couldn’t get worse. 

After some treatment and time in Nashville TN. I moved back home to Tampa and found John and Real Recovery. I was still a work in progress and desperation. I came to Tampa mad at God, my life, and the world. It is so embarrassing and humbling now with a clear mind to look back and see the hurt I have caused so many. I do have an understanding unlike ever before of what addiction and depression can do to a soul. 

Sadly, for Americans the number 1 cause of death for 18–40-year old’s is suicide. God got a hold of me again. I have a greater knowledge of who my God is and just how much He loves the hurt and broken-hearted people of the world. I realized He loved me and hurt when I hurt and cried when I cried. My prayer every day is that God would make something good of my self-destruction to my family and the people I love. God continues to do great things. RR saved my life. John saved my life! I will spend my life giving back to a program that simply gave to me in my time of need. Thank you RR!

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

We started a 12-step program at my church. I wasn’t that familiar with the whole 12 steps before I was introduced to them by others in the program. My mindset was that these were 12 steps you could take to stop drinking. I have since learned that these 12 step are a way of life. Now when I hear guys say. I’m done with my steps.” I have to think that they didn’t get it at all. I have learned that the 12 steps are not just about alcohol. They are about a fulfilling way of life. I wish I had stared the 12 steps when I first learned to read

Todd's Journey at Real Recovery

How was your experience at Real Recovery?

Best thing to happen for me. I was mad at God, mad at the world, and mad at my life. I was a real piece of work when I came. We all have different backgrounds and the way we believe and think. We all shared a common enemy. Addiction. We bonded over our fight to beat that addiction and struggle.

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

I faced my demons. I heard a guy say…..”if you don’t face your demons… they will go to the cellar of your soul and lift weights. When they come back they are bigger and bad as ever.”

I encourage the guys to face those at RR. Get your life back. Don’t bury your head in the sand and hide.

What was the hardest or most challenging step for you?

This will sound strange for someone with my background. Step 3. Decide to turn my will and life over to the care of God as I understand Him. My understanding of God was way off. As a friend reminded me. “This faith is a journey…. not a Genie. God is not God to meet my desires and wants. He is God and I am not!” His thoughts are not my thoughts. His ways are not my ways. They are so much higher than I can imagine.

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

Help others! You got 5 days sober. Find someone who has less than 5 days and tell them how you got there.

After Real Recovery & Life In Sobriety Today

How’s life now?

Still one day at a time. It would be nice to say. “Everything is great! The country song played backwards. I got everything I lost back!” That didn’t happen. The consequences of my actions were severe. I am not by any means in the darkness anymore. It is great to be back in the light.

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

1. Rules are for your protection.

2. Face your Demons.

3. Have a servant’s heart.

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

I start with God every morning and practice His presence throughout the day. I end my day the same.

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