Today we are going to try something new at sobercoping.com. Throughout this journey I have met some awesomely resilient people. One of these people have actually been mentioned in this blog before. I contacted him and asked him if he wouldn’t mind sharing his story with us. First of all let me introduce him, and for those of you that didn’t read the blog post, here is a little history.
I did inpatient counter-conditioning treatment in Seattle. When I first checked in, I saw a gentleman in a wheelchair in the hallway. He was almost catatonic, and non-verbal. He also looked to be about 70 years old. This was Keith. Keith came into treatment with a habit that makes me look like a tea-totaler. Over time however, as he slowly dried out, Keith’s body began to heal and he opened up. He is one of the funniest, most inspirational people I had the honor of going through treatment with. His strength is astounding, and his stories are legendary. Below I have included his very brief, but very touching account of his battle and recovery. I have edited some of the words in the account for privacy and legal purposes, those words are in italics.
Give it a read, Keith’s story is amazing. Have a fantastic Monday.
“For most people the choice to have the first drink is one you make, in my case at age 2 my father made that choice for me. And for the next 8 years he continued to make that choice..At age ten I made the choice to keep drinking, stealing alcohol from an alcoholic’s booze cabinet. At age 16 I made friends with the cashier at the local liquor store and I was on my way. Over the years I did the weed, and coke, acid, meth, crack PCP but I always returned to my first love, the bottle. 6 times I was hospitalized with alcohol poisoning, the highest being .41” and I had a doctor tell me I was lucky to be alive. Still I didn’t get the message; I ended up in detox 7 days after spending weeks drinking a half gallon of vodka a day. In 30 days I was right back to the bottle. My wife found me unconscious with the front door wide open, I guess 2 cops 3 paramedics and 4 fire fighters responded, I woke up 4 hours later in a hospital. But I didn’t have a problem. Finally on March 14th 2016 I ended up drinking 3 fifths of vodka in 8 hours. And well, the day to pay the piper had come. I checked myself into treatment, with my wife by my side. I spent 6 days I don’t remember in detox, with a nurse by my side 24/7 and got to re-meet a bunch of people I met during detox after detox.
That is when my life started again, I have embraced my sobriety, after spending my time at treatment, and sometimes life has tried to slap me across the face since I’ve been home. My employer had locked me out from returning to work. I Spent two weeks alone bouncing off walls and found myself just staring into space some days wondering why I wanted this new life. But in the end, I remained sober and I count the days till my re-cap when I can return and wear my greens again. On the days I really struggle I can go to face book and post on a page where people will support me. I look at what I can do when I’m not laying drunk on a couch 24/7. I don’t have to worry about if this is the day I kill somebody, or kill myself or end up in Jail? I’m learning who my wife is after so many years of marriage and have embraced her support rather than push her away as I have so many years before. I tell those who I shut out for so long the truth about how I feel. In the end I can only say this, today as I write this I am sober, I have friends who understand, and I have a life. I thank all those who befriended me at treatment, those who supported me, and will never trade my sobriety for imprisonment again. It’s not easy and I struggle everyday, but the life I have now is worth more than the bottle I lived with for so many years.
I will end this with the simple message, sobriety is truly freedom and after 50 years of drinking I’m finally re-born and alive. Thank you (Facility name removed) , my friends at the wisdom table, and to those who have supported me.”