Peter V. discusses how a drunken incident led him to Mountainside, and how achieving recovery has allowed him to regain a sense of purpose and fulfillment in his life.
Q: What was the turning point that led you to get help?
A: A night of drinking, blacking out, and having a verbal and then a bit of a physical altercation with my wife and 23 year old daughter. The next day, my wife and daughters gave me a phone number to call ⎼ Mountainside Treatment Center. I had a choice, to call or risk further damaging my relationships with my family. I chose to call.
Q: What was the most challenging part of your recovery journey?
A: Staying focused. I work hard at keeping my recovery in check, going to meetings, talking with people at the meetings and therapy. Creating a daily routine has been very important as well.
Q: What is the most important thing that sobriety has given you?
A: Clarity, and being able to see who I really am. My entire life was lived in fear. I’ve learned that I do not have to live in fear, that I am a good person, that I can live as a happy person. My back story is filled with shame and guilt. I am learning I deserve peace and happiness in my life.
Q: Who, or what, has had the biggest impact on your recovery?
A: My family. I have been shown unconditional love by my three daughters. And after many months of separation, my wife and I were able to work on ourselves which in turn has given us the ability to work on our relationship.
Q: What advice would you give to someone struggling with addiction?
A: Seek help and be willing to listen ⎼ open yourself and be vulnerable.
Q: What do others say is your best quality?
A: My willingness to do the work.
Q: What is your motto? What about this motto appeals to you?
A: The motto I live by is the Serenity Prayer. It’s simple and direct. When I am faced with something, I see where it fits into the prayer and then act on it if possible. I cannot change my past. I need to accept it, live with it, and not let it run my life anymore. I need to have the courage to face life as it comes and embrace it no matter what. Say “enough” and move on or accept the challenge and take it on.
Q: What are some small things that make your day better?
A: Daily meditation. Keeping present – today is the only day I have.
Q: Who inspires you to be better?
A: My family and knowing how close I came losing them by alienating them. They encourage me to work my program and stay on task.
Q: What book impacted you the most?
A: The Four Agreements and The Big Book
Q: If you could have any talent or skill, what would it be? Why?
A: Play an instrument with the courage to entertain people.
Q: What is a fun fact about you?
A: I love driving my Jeep ⎼ top less and door less in the sunshine.
Q: Who – dead or alive – is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party?
A: People living in recovery. They are a blast to hang out with.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
A: Ireland – I would love to learn more about the history of the country.
Q: What’s the title of the current chapter of your life?
A: Believe in Yourself.