Hi. My name’s Adam and I am an alcoholic. My sobriety date is November 18, 2017. I was an active alcoholic for 15 years.
At the end of those years, I was alone, living in a small room I barely ever left, drinking constantly. I couldn’t stop drinking even if I wanted to. I couldn’t keep down food or water. My hands shook so badly I had trouble getting food to my mouth in the first place. I know very few people who were as physically addicted as I was and survived without permanent damage.
Amazingly, people still loved me. And there were many of them. Friends, but most importantly my family. They wouldn’t let me go. In late November 2017, they got together and made arrangements for me to come to Mountainside.
Looking back, the most important lesson I learned from Mountainside was to live in the present. I only made decisions on what I definitely knew to be true, not thoughts I put into other people’s heads, not rehashing a past that I wish was different. Only the now, only what was really happening.
I lived in the present for a long time this way. I took comfort in having things taken out of my hands, to live based on what had worked for others. I was told I needed to go to meetings every day, and I went to meetings. I lived in a sober living house for several months. I got a sponsor. I developed the courage to live out of my head and in the comfort of the moment.
And I got a job because I had to get a job, any job. I took a part time job at a small Pet Value store near my group home.
Turns out, I know a lot about dogs. Customers began coming just for me. I worked more hours. I moved to a different store, and the customers came with me. I tried to do the right thing every time. I still did everything I had learned—went to meetings, practiced the steps, everything.
Then, just four years after I was checked into Mountainside, in November 2021, I finalized a deal to buy my own pet store. It was a store I’d been working at for a year; it has been around since 1950 and I am only the third owner.
I’ve always seen sobriety as moving towards a new life and not away from an old one. It is truly amazing what happens when you just do the same thing everyone else who got sober did. I hope you give a new way of life a chance.