Dan L.’s Story

Posted on Posted in Testimonials

dan lSo, let’s see. How do I usually tell my story? I was born in 1983 in Rhode Island, moved to the Cape in 1988 with my family to a religious community, in Orleans, called the Community of Jesus, kind of a strict upbringing there, but you know, basically positive, you know, a little strict, little different, kind of one of the weird kids in school but really not bad, you know generally accepted, very loving parents, very loving people all around, but always felt that maybe didn’t quite fit in.

Moved out of there, when I was 20. And, addiction and alcoholism didn’t start for a while. I was OK for a while living on my own. And about 2010, 2011, at about 26, 27, drinking started to get a little out of control. I was arrested for drunk driving in 2010. Didn’t really learn much from that, kind of got right back on the horse, and in 2011, in the Spring, was the first time I really started to realize I might have a problem. This was mainly with alcohol. That was the first time I asked for help, first time I went to a meeting was in May of 2011. Unfortunately it didn’t really stop there. I’m definitely what you would call a chronic relapser, or I was for a while, I would maybe put a month, or three months was kind of my golden number, and I would go right back out. I would use any excuse to go back out drinking. While I was doing this some prescription drugs were part of the story as well, oddly enough not opiates, which is definitely the more common thing. Ritalin and speed, I liked doing cocaine too, but mostly just that. Ritalin. A lot of times I would put, you know, three months of not drinking together, but you know when you’re up on speed for a couple of days, you’ll drink to chill out, and I’d be off running again. So that went on for a while. And then, by the end of 2011 I decided to quit the whole recovery thing, I thought you know what, I’m going to drink as much as I want, I’m not doing this stupid program thing anymore, I’m done. Then you really go on a downward spiral. In 2012 I went into my first detox, in late winter, about February, and that ended up being basically three in a row. Probably would have been better to do an actual rehab, looking back at it, but by the third one I did calm down quite a bit, almost, almost completely got it that time in 2012. But not completely. It would be every month or so, I would have a little bender, nobody would know about it, I would just be by myself. And in 2013, end of September 2013 I finally had my last real bad bender, suicide threats, really called out and asked for help that time, called my parents, called somebody from work, you know, this is the one, somebody come help me, I’m just gonna die, I’m not gonna do this anymore. So, so depressed and so sad, and feeling like I was never gonna beat it. What maybe was a little different that time, what I tell people, it’s very simple, just actually do all the suggestions, completely. Don’t try to change it and kind of do it your way. If your counselor says to get a sponsor and go to 90 meetings in 90 days, just do it, even if you think it’s stupid, somehow it works. I did that, and put myself on discipline for a while, calling three family members and a sponsor every day. By the time you’re done doing that and going to your IOP and everything else, there’s not much time to think about drinking at that point. Another big turning point, I’d been good for about a month and a half, it was around Thanksgiving, and that’s a classic time when people relapse, for some reason. And I was thinking, oh this is dumb, everybody else is partying, you know I’m starting to get depressed again, thinking about drinking, and a friend of mine called up and said, ‘How di you do this whole recovery thing? Cause I, you know I’m doing it myself and how do you get through times like this?’ And that, that was huge, like oh man, somebody’s kind of depending on me here for advice. I can’t just give up and let them and myself down just to have a drink. And it’s been a really good three years since. October will be three years. I’ve made strides and accomplished things in sobriety that I never thought possible. I truly thought I’d be drinking until the day that I died, but there is hope. In fact, the sky’s the limit. If you want it, there’s a second chance at life right in front of you. Just ask for help and take the suggestions seriously.

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