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51, Clean, and In College

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51, Clean, and In College

I spent 40 years escaping from the physical abuse I endured as a child. Not always an easy thing to talk about when you're a man. ?In fact, its far more common than most men know, or are willing to admit, and that's precisely what keeps us out there. ?It seems impossible to believe that someone could have went through , what we went through. ? ? ? I know now, that this is exactly what the enemy wants.

You can call the enemy addiction, but for me, the enemy is the devil, and addiction is just one of the many cars he drives. ?His only purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy. ?He convinces us, through this illnes, that we have no value. That no one will ever understand, or accept, what we went through. He whispers in our ear that we are broke, unwanted, and alone. We're convinced that its almost better that we stay sick because there's no hope of ever making up for what we have done. ?These are the reasons we stay ill. ?For 40 years I identified with addicts. I identified with being broke. I identified with hopelessness. ?Then, through the greatest support group we addicts can have, known as AA and NA, I learned that my spirit was broke. I learned that everything the enemy whispered in my ear was a lie. ?I learned that there was absolutely NO WAY I could ever fight this enemy alone.

I couldn't, but we can! ? I had a change of Heart, Thought, and Attitude.

Simply stated, through support, I began to have hope (Heart). Hope allowed me to begin to identify with sobriety. With possibilties. With what could be (Thought). ?I found that the power to defend myself against this enemy wasn't in me, it was a part of me. It was my birth right. It was God. ?God isn't unforgiveness. he doesnt carry grudges. He only wants to love us. When I surrender, really surrender feating this unbeatable foe, my life began to change (Attitude). ?I am 51 years old, I am clean, and Ive just started college? Me! A 40 year veteran of addiction?

Everything I did and said for 40 years. Every child of mine I abandoned, and every heart I broke because of addiction, will now be my greatest assets when I become a Chemical Abuse Therapist. ?I wrote this poem for all who suffer, so tthat they might have hope. ?Face your enemy and tell him he's a liar, surrender your life to God, and join a support group. Our purpose is to get well and help all of those who still suffer.

What is my Soul

My soul is God. Its the inner most center of all I am, or hope to ever be. It is the only part of me that is promised eternal life, provided I maintain my spiritual condition, and believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity. When I began to use drugs and alcohol, I created an island inside myself. I did not maroon my soul on that island, rather, I separated myself from God. I was left standing on the shore of this world, looking across a turbulent sea, and longing to be reconnected to my father and his island. I find it sad that as I look along the shoreline in either direction, there are so very few people who have the same desire as I. To somehow build a bridge that will carry me from where I do not belong, too where I was meant to be. Though we are few we are strong. We join hands , and each of us together, begin to build our bridges . Each must build our own bridge, but the plans, the materials, and the guidance have been freely provided.
Among all of the gifts that God has gave us, the most amazing is, That as we begin to build our bridges that will lead us back to God and where we are meant to be, God builds the other half and meets us in the middle. Thank you God for my life, and the freedom from all thing which kept me from you, and thank you for giving me all my brothers and sisters who are building right alongside me.

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.

Guest Book


1. John Minton
I look at and think about those whom I love who could be like this man.
2. Todd
I have struggled with alcoholism for 30 years. I am truly happy for your recovery. I do not resent AA or NA, but the fact is their success rates are atrocious, and they are the ONLY option presented by the 'recovery industry.'