To Whom it May Concern,
In January 2021, I was a few planned steps away from killing myself. A few days later, I put my head on a pillow at No Longer Bound. If they couldn’t fix me, they said God could.
I arrived as a drunk who no longer had the will to fight. I was told I was crazy for choosing a one year program for my first try. The thing about me is, I don’t do things half-heartedly. When I drank, I drank everything. When I smoked, I smoked it all. When I ruined my relationships, I ruined them completely. When I burned bridges, there wasn’t even ash left for the wind to blow.
Did I need a one year program to save my life? Absolutely. I need more. Given the opportunity, I would start over on day one. I need a community, where accountability and transparency are the goals. I am not ready to go my own way yet. I do not have the tools in place. I cannot be trusted to keep myself healthy.
Thinking back, I was a walking, at times, stumbling, sometimes crawling, mess of a man. Often I was lost, literally and figuratively. I was angry, confused, and in constant need of being drunk. Drinking decided when I would talk, who I would talk to, who I would be with, when I would be happy, angry, or sick, when I would work, when I would sleep, and how much money I had. The fact that I had a problem for so long without getting help disappoints me to this day.
I could lie and say I came here for myself, but I won’t.
I came because I was afraid of where I would end up, if I killed myself. I came to save a relationship with a woman. I came to save relationships within my family. But I am staying for myself!
It’s ok to be selfish. I was selfish in addiction, and now, I’m not ashamed of how selfish I am willing to be. I am willing to do what it takes to get healthy.
I was mad at the world because, at eight years old, a man chose to abuse me. I was angry because a drink in a bottle made me feel better (until it made me an idiot.) I was mad because every relationship ended, when I disregarded the feelings and well-being of others. Every time I put a bottle to my lips, I was agreeing to say goodbye to everything and every one who was good in my life.
I could not love myself, let alone anyone else. I could not understand how to be a decent man. I was (and remain) broken in many ways when it comes to showing and receiving love. It is something I have struggled with since that day when I was eight.
I was angry at God for taking my daughter. I still am. I am angry when I think about laying on her mother’s stomach, talking to her and feeling her kick. I become angrier when I think of no longer feeling her kicks or any movement at all. I was mad when, without warning, my daughter was taken. I was mad at myself for everything I have ever done in my life, as well as the things I have been too cowardly to attempt. I was angry God woke me up in the mornings when I had consumed enough alcohol that would have killed other people.
I am staying at No Longer Bound because I am tired of hating myself and the world. And, I am learning that I actually like people. And I like what they like about me. I like that I am a man worth knowing. I know I have a lot of work to do, and I know this is the place to do that work.
I will be here. I am not leaving. I am staying.
I am stubborn and God made me that way. I do not want to return to the man I was. I will do what it takes to keep healing. Until I can say that I love myself and the people God puts in my world, I will put my head on a pillow here at night, and I will sit in the dining hall each morning
I was a jobless, disappointing pothead, alcoholic. I was a man in pain, with fears I have carried since I was a child. I thought God was a mean “cloud man” who hurt people in situations they could never handle, one day, judging them for their mistakes.
I’m here because that is not correct.
I’m here because this place fixes people.
I am here because I want to be fixed.
I am staying, because I’m not done yet.