At 6:45 a.m., most people are just starting their day. At 6:45, I’m working on my alcoholism; I start every day with an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting.
It wasn’t always like this. Four and a half years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined telling you my story, that’s when I crashed and burned and went into treatment for my addiction to cocaine.
I remember when I was a kid, my parents always had parties; there was a lot of drinking. From an early age, I saw that booze was part of having a good time. My addiction started out as casual use.
As I got older, my disease got worse. Alcohol and cocaine became the reason to get up in the morning. When you’re an alcoholic or an addict, you slowly see how the good people in your life get fed up with you and leave. Eventually, you’re surrounded only by people who feed your addiction.
The worst part was that my 17 year old son saw me deteriorate. My face was hollow, my skin an awful color. I lost everything -- my marriage, job after job, and my family’s respect.
I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. Addiction is exhausting. I saw others having fun in life without drinking and drugging. I wanted to be one of those people, I just didn’t know how.
My brother intervened. He had heard of Arapahoe House through the professional community. I had no idea what to expect, but the decision to go to their Healing First program in Thornton set me on a new course for success.
During my treatment, I learned that you only had to change one thing about life as an addict to get sober: everything. I had to learn that recovery wasn’t going to come to me; I had to go to it.
In the 21 days that I was at Arapahoe House I met life-long friends and got to see a lot of miracles. We still go to each other for support and we do what we have to do to make sobriety work. I live in recovery; I don’t want my old life back. I found AA after Arapahoe House and continue to arrest my addiction one day at a time.
Arapahoe House offers programs that meet a variety of income levels. I’m grateful that Arapahoe House could meet my needs – both through treatment and financially. No one tells you when you start drinking and drugging about the insane amount of debt you’ll accumulate. I feel that Arapahoe House treated my case on an individual basis. They recognized that the time was right for me to start living in recovery.
Addiction controlled my life for 36 years. I’m happy to say I’ve been sober for more than four years. I have a new life and a wonderful relationship with my son. I’m so proud of him. He got a full ride scholarship to CU Boulder and is happy and healthy.
I’m productive. I have a full time job that I love as a property maintenance engineer. The company is pro-active about recovery too. I think it’s important when an employer is open about employees seeking treatment. It’s been a very long, hard road, but life keeps getting better.