Your Story Matters. I am. We are. Recovery. blank
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  January 4, 2010            
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I would like to be added to
the recovery mailing list.

Keith Stack

I am my community.

I was raised in an alcoholic family and as a child I was exposed to all of the chaos and unmanageability that accompany addiction.

I started drinking in the 6th grade as an alter boy, drinking the wine before and after serving Mass. I regret that during many of life's important rights of passage, substance abuse was a factor in these experiences. Later, I married and raised three children who I often hid my drinking from. When my drinking escalated to everyday, things got out of control. I began lying, hiding and sneaking alcohol from my family members and friends. I drank vodka in the car as I drove to the office. At this point, I was drinking constantly and it was a problem both at home and at work.

I spiraled downhill. I continued to drink. I could not stay sober. Not until I was confronted at work did I seek assistance from my employer. I was prompted to go into detox and treatment. I became sober for more than six years.

One day, I stopped going to my 12-step meetings and interacting with my network of people in recovery. I thought I was cured. Soon I hit a new bottom. While drinking, I started abusing prescription medication. I was removed from my government position, resulting in public embarrassment for my family. I received two DWIs, went into detox twice and was admitted to a mental health hospital twice. I was also in four residential programs.

For a year, I lived alone. I did not drive and I did not work. I walked to a community-based outpatient program and to 12-step meetings daily, often twice a day. I needed all of the professional treatment I received. Each admittance saved my life at that time. But, I continued to struggle because I could not accept my addiction and therefore was not open to what was offered.

Now, I am three years in recovery. I am reunited with my family and living at home and rebuilding my relationships. I even have a new grandson that I babysit regularly. My daughter tells me that I am their hero. I have a new career, am active in my community and have incorporated a new non-profit. My son was married in August and I was present. I am present for life today. Recovery makes my life possible.

Life for a person in recovery is no different than for anyone - complete with its ups and downs. I recently had the good fortune to further progress in my new career in the addictions prevention, treatment and recovery field, having been appointed as the Executive Director of the Addictions Care Center of Albany. Like any job, it will have its challenges, its ups and downs. However, it is only because of my recovery, that I have this exciting opportunity.


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New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
1450 Western Avenue, Albany, NY 12203
Find help for alcoholism, drug abuse or problem gambling at 1-877-8-HOPENY

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