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  July 18, 2010      
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OASAS Stories of Recovery
Colin of New York
Posted: June 24, 2010       Individual
Time in recovery: 4 years, 1 months       Age: 25       Gender: Male

I started drinking at the age of 12. The first time I drank I blacked out.For years to come blacking out was normal to me, it was the only way I knew how to drink.

I was told for years by my parents that it was a problem. Even at the age of 14 I was doing anything to get the drink. I would sneak out of the house and hitchhike 20 miles across town to get to a party. I had no care for anyone but myself. Drinking eventually lead to 3 DWI's by the time I was 21. I was on felony probation and facing multiple years in prison.

I decided to listen to my father and check into rehab a month after my 21st birthday. At first, I thought that I would stay a few weeks then go home and start the insanity again. God had a different plan for me.

As the weeks went by, I could see my parents at ease. They were happy that I was safe and proud of me for making the decision to seek recovery. After 30 days, I was ready to leave. My father told me that after 10 years of drinking, 30 days was not enough. I was furious and told him I was leaving. He said "you can leave, but you cannot come home." Probation wanted to violate me, and surely would pick me up if I left.

Not knowing what to do, I wandered into the house chapel, crying and angry. I want to be sober, and wanted to start my life, why couldn't I leave?!! Why didn't they trust me?? The priest told me, God had a plan for me, and I had to be willing to follow it. An hour later my counselor told me he had spoken to my Parole Officer. She told him they were thinking of dropping the violation if I stayed longer. I laughed, and realized "this was God's plan"

The judge gave me the opportunity to stay in treatment for 6 months or do 1-7 years in state prison. I gratefully thanked him. He told me that the man behind me started a program 20 years ago that gives addicts and alcoholics the choice of treatment or jail. The man was my dad. I had no idea.

After 6 months, I left and entered a sober house. I was so grateful to be free. With no pillow or blankets, and taking 3 buses for 2 hours to work I was always smiling. God had given me the gift of freedom from self.

Since then, I have earned the love and respect of my family and friends. I've gotten married in recovery and had a beautiful little boy. My life as I was told is now beyond my wildest dreams. I never thought I would see 25. I never had any goals in life because I figured I'd wind up in jail anyway.

I owe my life to God and Alcoholics Anonymous.


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