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prison to promise

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prison to promise

Hi my name is Eric and I am a grateful recovering alcoholic

I began drinking in high school like so many people do. It was all about the social events and I truly believe that I never once cared for the taste of alcohol. I just wanted the effects that it produced. At the age of seventeen, I got my first o.w.i.. This was a very difficult time for me. I remember having to call my mother to come pick me up and I was beginning to feel the shame and remorse setting in the next morning. I was very afraid of the unknown and I told my mother that I wanted to kill myself. I suffered through the consequences of losing my license and paying a small fine and having to miss a couple of football games because I violated school policy. Fear kept me sober for some time after that but leaving high school and going on to college meant so much more freedom for me. I began drinking not just on the weekends but finding parties in the college town and while at school for one year I acquired two underage drinking tickets. Once again, fear kept me sober for awhile but that fear slowly passed as I wanted to continue to fill that empty void in me with still more booze. I quit school and began in the workforce doing electrical work and I got a pretty good understanding of that but the company I was working for went bankrupt. So, I decided to join the laborers union and began doing masonry work. I started to develop an attitude of "I work hard, so I should be able to play hard." And so began A LOT more drinking. I was beginning to drink anywhere from an 18 pack on up to a 30 pack of beer a night. I felt, I worked hard so I deserve it! This is when I began on my spree of A LOT of trouble with the law. I got my second and third O.W.I.'s in 2003 and was beginning to blackout a lot after a good night of alcohol. I wouldn't eat because I loved the effect that alcohol gave me and I wanted that effect as fast as possible. I ended up having to sit 68 days in jail for my third offense and I took all necessary AODA classes in order to get my license back. I was very compliant, basically a liar! I was fortunate enough to get the ankle bracelet and I know that I was drunk even on the first day home on that. I didn't care, I wanted that effect that alcohol produced. I was willing to take any and all risks to get it. I kept my job with Findorff and I went on drinking until my fourth o.w.i. which happened to be a very bad car accident. All I remember was waking up and handcuffed to a hospital bed. I knew I was in an accident but I just didn't know what sort of condition the lady was that I hit. She was taking her son home late at night and I was in a complete blackout when I hit her mini-van. Terror filled my whole body. I was more concerned with her safety than with my own.. Ya see, the nurses didn't know if I had broken my neck or not,,, and I just didn't care. I woke up the next morning to find my vehicle in the impound and a complete facial imprint in the windshield. I was very fortunate not to have broken my neck. Just a few months later I picked up another o.w.i. while out on a signature bond for my fourth. I was completely running scared and I did everything and anything to avoid family and friends. I was living in a motel 6 in janesville and I would retire every night with an 18 pack of bud light. I really don't know what I was thinking but I was just waiting for things to smooth over and not have to face the consequences of my actions.

Well, eventually the law will catch up with you and I had to serve nine months in rock county jail. I got out and this was the beginning of my "double life" like it is defined in the big book of a.a. I told all of my friends that I was going to stay sober and whenever I wasn't with them I was always drinking. This double life went on for almost two and a half years until my last o.w.i. And the day of my last drink. On october 31st 2008 I went to work and it was my birthday that weekend and I was going to drink. By this time, I was drinking a 30 pack of beer every night and I was always drinking by myself in my bedroom. Well, I had decided to go out to the bars and I drank myself into a complete blackout. The next thing I know I am waking up to a county sheriff knocking on my drivers side window. I drove across traffic down into a ditch where I passed out with my foot on the brake, truck in drive and I was about 50 ft from running into some tall pine trees! Something or someone saved me that night. I was incarcerated in the green county jail and that is where I stayed for five months until I went to prison. While in the green county jail, I began to learn about the program of alcoholics anonymous. I attended meetings as often as I could and I began to feel comfortable in my own skin without alcohol. I didn't know anything about the program but I wanted what all the volunteers had and that was freedom. I attended meetings all through my 20 month sentence and i completed a 6 month very intense treatment program. I learned alot about the program and I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I have to take responsibility for what i say and what I do. I have been sober now a little over four years and I have a great support system with my family and friends. The family that I avoided for so long was the first ones there for me when I went to prison. And now they are the ones that I hold dearest to my heart. I am so grateful for the program and my higher power and I just can't say enough about how great my life is getting ONLY because I have found a design for living that really works!!! I have just a little under a year left on my parole sentence and when I do complete it, I am planning on volunteering at a local prison to give back what was so freely given to me. I am grateful for so many blessings today in my life and I hope this story can help at least one person to see some similarities and have a willingness to change

thanks, Eric P.


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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Comments

1. Alice Pryce
Been there Eric. That is the hardest thing to admit. Very proud of you!
2. Eric
Thank you for sharing. It's stories like yours that bring light to someone who is still suffering.