I got sober at the tender age of 25. I freely gave a good part of my childhood and all of my adulthood at this point to alcoholism and addiction. At 25 and already having been to very dark places in my life, I thought this was just how I was destined to live and probably die. I did try quitting many different ways, sometimes with success of a few months here and there. I moved around the country several times, thinking it was a geographical problem and not my own. I thought a new skyline could set me free! When that wouldn’t work, I would try and turn to religion, school, calloused work, etc. When none of these methods ever seemed to stick, I felt resigned to living in a state of doom.
When I truly felt I couldn’t continue living this way, I admitted myself into treatment with the help of my Mother. The treatment center that my insurance sent me to put a heavy emphasis on practicing the 12 steps to stay sober. My only knowledge of the 12 steps was from films and books. No one in my family ever got sober. It seemed sad and was the last place I wanted to end up. I was very sad and in the last place in my life I ever wanted to end up. Maybe it was a sign?
The treatment center would bring us to 12-step meetings and in these meeting is where I started to connect some dots. One night at a speaker meeting, I heard my story spoken. The speaker was a Woman in her 60’s, I was a young man. It was her descriptions of a harrowing powerlessness that I felt a kinship. I continued hearing my story in these rooms almost every time I went. These people were able to put into words what I had felt my whole life, not knowing what it it was. They had a solution, too. It was in working the 12 steps.
I got a sponsor at one of these meetings and started to work with him once I completed treatment. I contemplated rigorous honesty all the time and started practicing it. I started to pray every morning and night until it stopped feeling strange. I wrote every day and got a service commitment chairing my home group. I started to hear my story in the solution part of people’s shares at meetings, not just the pitfalls.
Today my life is full of joy and freedom I never knew was possible. I know hundreds of people that also live this way. You can never be too old or young to get clean and sober and start realizing your life in a way that is admirable to yourself and others. Today I am grateful for being an alcoholic.