Joshua is awakened to a new and beautiful life
I started drinking at the age of twelve and by the time I reached high school it turned from fun and social to being the identity of who I was. I enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 19 and was sent to Iraq and served in two combat deployments. My drinking kept progressing and after returning home and developing PTSD symptoms my drinking just got worse. I used Alcohol to mask all my insecurity and fear. It got so bad that I had trouble developing relationships with other people unless Alcohol was involved.
I got a job with a defense contractor after the Marines and then with several different Information Technology companies. Although I was functioning somewhat then, I see now that I was still a very sick alcoholic. The alcohol led me to other drugs. Cocaine on the weekends, prescriptions for addreall, xanax, and oxycodone. I would take uppers in the morning to get out of bed and mend my hangover, and then pain killers and benzos with alcohol every night to go to sleep.
In 2013, everything finally caught up with me and I was arrested my the US Marshals in Chicago for gun and stolen property charges in Kentucky. I was extradited back to Kentucky and served 15 months in prison for my crimes. When I got out on parole I got a job and before long it was back to the same old stuff again. Pills and alcohol pretty much every night and then really bad drinking benders in between work projects and on the weekends. The scariest part of it was I was in such denial and alcoholic delusion that I didn't even see that alcohol and drugs were my problem. I thought they were the solution to all the bad things that kept happening to me.
After my most recent arrest in February of 2016, I called my father from an isolation cell in jail and asked him to contact the VA for me. I was so sick and so tired I was willing to try anything, including finally going to rehab.
The VA has helped me so much. They worked with my attorney to get me into a Veterans Drug Court program and have helped me to regain employment.
The first AA meeting I attended I saw my little league baseball coach. I was so nervous and so confused sitting in that meeting that I saw someone I knew and threw myself out there and asked him to be my sponsor. He met with me every week and walked me through the twelve steps of AA. Anytime I called him, he answered. I had never experienced that before, being able to call someone and having them actually be there for me. We talked about God, we talked about sobriety, we talked about what it meant to be a man with a loving and caring heart. To have a purpose that is outside of your own self and to realize that our real purpose on this earth is to serve God and to help others. I credit all of my sobriety to my sponsor, to God, and for my own willingness to try a new way of life.
Today my life is drastically different. Although the wreckage of my past isn't completely mended it is slowly coming back into place. I work for the VA in the logistics division and am pursuing getting back into the field of Information Technology. I have relationships that I have developed since becoming sober that are filled with compassion, empathy, and true love. I can be dependable and be trusted. I can be a good boyfriend. I can be a good son. I can do service work and reach out to other people who suffer from alcoholism and addiction and be there for them. I have developed a relationship with God again and get to spend time alone with him each day in meditation and prayer. God really is taking care of everything in my life that I never could take care of myself.
If I had any words of wisdom to those that are suffering it is that there is help out there. If you're tired of not remembering what happened because of blackouts, if you're tired of all your relationships and jobs failing, if you just for one second think that you have a problem; the answer is that you probably do. You don't have to let your life get to a hopeless bottom before asking for help. The good news is that with loving support from recovery communities and programs like AA and NA we can recover.
I'm awakened to a new and beautiful life. There are never any insecurities or fears or problems in my life today. I am by the far the happiest I ever thought imaginable and it's all thanks to the gift of sobriety and a loving and caring God of my own understanding.
I have been sober for 10 months, 2 weeks, and three days. God willing I will get my one year token on April 17, 2017.