I love your post Brian. Thank you for sharing your experience, strength and hope. It is from stories like this that I gain more strength in my sobriety.
There is a huge stigma about addicts/alcoholics. Every day I go to work I drive through the core of my city and see what a life of addiction and no help has done to so many. I am a fortunate one, I have a home, a job, a family, friends. The only thing I lost was my ability to drive for 90 days. I have lost nothing else. I still have my family, friends, home and job. I also have had a huge amount of support in my recovery. Something that so many people never have.
I was a “functioning” alcoholic. I work in a very diverse environment that is in the public eye and constantly under scrutiny one way or another. There is a very large amount of “heavy drinkers” and alcoholics in my workplace. This is often kept quiet because of the stigma. I did my daily duties in all aspects of my life, including maintaining my job. Those around me who were not aware of my alcoholism were shocked to hear that I left for a month for treatment. So many people did not know. Only family and close friends knew of what I did behind closed doors.
I feel a sense of relief that a few more people know. They can look at me now and say what they want behind my back, but chances are – they know someone just like me, if they aren’t “one” themselves. I also feel a sense of pride knowing that I have maintained my sobriety for 4 months now and am able to talk openly about it “outside my comfort zone”.
I can only hope one day that those people I pass by daily will get the help they so very much need. Everyone deserves a chance, no matter who they are or where they have come from.