My alcohol use started around age 10, as it was readily available in my house. Marijuana was also easy to access and was my primary drug of choice until age 16 when I got a fake ID and could drink whenever I wanted.
I partied hard and began using drugs daily. I ended up in an adolescent treatment center a few short years later, mostly just to get out of trouble. The seed of recovery was planted, however, and though I drank and used for another year, with the information about myself learned in treatment all I did was prove I was a real alcoholic. Having been exposed to 12-step recovery in treatment, that is where I sought help after finally hitting bottom, which was when I came face to face with my own suicide note from a blackout.
Over the past 30 years I have been on the marvelous journey into long-term recovery – with all of its ups and downs and life circumstances. Through it all I have learned about growth and recovery, have raised a family (including children with and without addiction challenges), and enjoyed an incredibly successful military career.
My life has been richly blessed, and I have become comfortable with sharing my story so that people know that life in long-term recovery from addiction is not only possible, it exists around them. I believe most people know someone in recovery, but often they do not realize it because after we achieve freedom from our addictions, we are not immediately recognizable as alcoholics or drug addicts. We look more like normal productive citizens.
Today, by being a positive example of recovery, I hope to contribute to crushing the stigma attached to addiction.
Anonymous -- Fort Knox, KY