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 relationships, I ruined them completely. When I burned bridges, there wasn’t 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’m not ready to go my own way yet. I do not have the tools in place to keep myself healthy.
Thinking back, I was a walking, sometimes stumbling, sometimes crawling mess of a man. I was lost, literally and figuratively. I was angry and confused, in constant need of being drunk. Drinking decided when I would talk, who I would be with, how I would feel, 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!
I was mad at the world because, at eight years old, a man chose to abuse me. I was angry because alcohol made me feel better (until it didn’t.) I was mad because every relationship ended, when I disregarded the feelings and well-being of others.
I could not love myself, let alone anyone else. I could not understand how to be a decent man. I was broken when it came 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, feeling her kick. I become angrier when I think of no longer feeling her kicks or movement anymore. Without warning, my daughter’s life was taken.
I was mad at myself for everything I’ve 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 still have 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 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 am here because I now know that is not correct.
I am here because this place fixes people.
I am here because I want to be fixed.
I am staying, because I’m not done yet.