Submitted by: Bo Brown
My sobriety date is May 20, 2017. This is not my first time getting sober. My drugs of choice were alcohol, Xanax, and Ritalin.
I grew up in a military family and because of that structure, I felt that doing legal prescribed drugs or things that I could buy at the store were all ok. I felt that I was not breaking any worthwhile rules or doing any damage to anyone other than myself, that it would be fine.
I started taking my prescriptions for what they were intended for and eventually they did not provide the original effects they were supposed to provide. The problem began when I started taking more and more pills.
My alcohol use was more gradual. I didn’t start drinking until I arrived at college at the age of 18. Initially, I did not have any problems with alcohol. I was a casual drinker who only drank on the weekends when partying with my friends. Little by little, I saw how it made me feel temporarily better when I was uncomfortable. So I started misusing it.
Eventually, I was using Ritalin during the day and alcohol at night as soon as the Ritalin would start to wear off. The Ritalin made me feel smart and more alert–however, when it wore off, it made me more anxious. So when I became anxious, I would drink to calm myself down.
Eventually, I began working in the film industry in Chicago which was sometimes quite stressful. This led to drinking heavily at night. I knew I was having a problem because I would quit on my own without going to detox and all these funny things were happening to me. I was so naïve that I didn’t realize that I was having withdrawal symptoms and how bad they were. I experienced nightmares, hallucinations, and more.
When I started to do my own research, I realized that those problems were all happening because alcohol and Xanax withdrawal. Every time I would quit, I would get really scared and fearful of the withdrawal symptoms. The last time I decided to quit, I took the advice of a friend who suggested a treatment facility in California, and I have been in California ever since.
The treatment facility I chose has been so great that I am confident now and I believe in and strongly trust in the 12-Step program. I am getting in shape, I got a sponsor, I have worked the steps, I am making amends and taking inventories! I am so happy with the way things are going now that I am thinking of staying in the area. I am excited to participate in the Heroes 6K races because it combines my two passions, exercise and recovery!