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It'll Change Your Life!

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It'll Change Your Life!

My name is Mark and I am 35 years old. ?My story may sound typical but in many ways, it's not. ?I was "that guy" for most of my adult life. ?You know him; the guy who's always first to the party because he didn't want to miss out on getting his share of the booze and the last to leave because he didn't want to miss out on anything. ?I was the guy who drank to forget...and drank to remember. ?Whatever it was, there was always a "good reason" for my excessive drinking. ?I was the guy who convinced himself (and anyone who seemed concerned) that he could stop drinking at any time if he wanted to - he just didn't want to because he wasnt the one with the problem, it was everyone else!

Toward the end, things just got worse and I found myself in a downward spiral that I couldn't reverse. ?My job was in jeopardy because of my poor performance, my finances were suffering because of my frivolous spending when I was drunk, and I had pushed away family and friends because of my volatile behavior. ?I drank the moment I woke up until the moment I finally passed out. ?I was a full-time day drunk, even when at work. ?My hangovers and DT's were so intense, I had no choice but to maintain a buzz just to get me through the day. In the process, I completely alienated everyone in my life and isolated myself.

I finally got to a point where I didn't care anymore - about anything or anyone, especially myself. ?I came home from work one day with a liter of vodka and two vials of sedatives. ?I drank the bottle (I was up to a liter a day at that point), and swallowed all the pills I had and laid down to sleep in the hopes the I'd never wake up. ?I honestly believed that it didn't matter if I died and that no one would really kick up much of a fuss because of it.

Somehow I woke up three hours later. ?I was pissed. ?Even I could screw this up, I thought. ?Then I freaked out when I realized what I had tried to do. ?Next thing I knew, I was in an ambulance on my way to the hospital. ?I spent 24 hours in ICU and 4 days in a lock-down psych ward where I was treated like an insane person. ?I finally got out, called a cab, and had him stop at the liquor store on the way home where I proceeded to drink the nightmare I had endured away. ?It was at some point a few days later in an alcoholic haze that I decided I needed help. ?This was getting bigger than me and I didn't know what else to do. ?I got in touch with a counselor who, through my job, got me into a treatment facility. ?The experience was a life changer from the moment I got there. ?After 3 days of detox, I began to see clearly and communicate with others around me freely and intelligently. ?I met some of the most amazing people I'd ever met - from all walks of life and experiences. ?All different, but sharing a common bond. ?The journey wasn't easy, in fact it was damn tough. ?But the support I received from everyone around me was overwhelming. ?My two roommates became my best friends in recovery and in life. ?I finally started to feel alive again and began to learn how to live life on life's terms - one day at a time.

It's been a year since I walked into that rehab center and I'm still sober. ?So many incredible things have happened since I've left; I've reconnected with my family, began a new venture at my company that is better suited to my current state of mind, met some great sober friends in my new town, and continue to go to meetings and support groups that help me when I need it most. ?Not every day is sunshine and roses, but it sure is better that it was when I was drinking. ?I'm more equipped to handle challenges now. My head is clear, my will is strong as hell, and I am finally free for the first time since I was a kid. ?I'm not tired all the time, I don't have to suffer through week-long hangovers, and I don't feel the need to hide from people anymore. ?I can do anything I choose to do. I dont have to deal with shame, remorse, or embarrassment for my behavior. ?It's pretty amazing.

Just ask for help. ?Do the work. ?Find your strength and use all the resources available to you - and there are tons of them! You're worth it, trust me. ?There are so many people in recovery who are cool, fun, and most importantly, supportive. ?Get to know them. ?If I can do this, so can you. ?There's a world out there that waiting for you.

This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.

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