“How do I stay sober after this?”

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Horse Barn 2011

Good day to all of you and I hope this finds you well. It is early in the morning and I am very grateful to be here today. I have been a carpenter since I was 15 and an addict/alcoholic all my life. I have been a soldier and a skid row bum. These days I am a student at the University of Alabama, studying Social Work and Psychology while trying to pay the bills. My story is like all of yours, everything was fine, until it wasn’t. I could handle it, until I couldn’t. I was blessed with an opportunity to change my life, and in the course of that transition (which is an ongoing affair) I had the opportunity to interact with an amazing group of people. It is these wonderful people that I wish to talk about today.
The volunteers of sobriety are the heart of the program. I personally could not tell you any of their names if I wanted to, but I can tell what they did, and still do for me. These people take time out of their busy lives, time that could be spent with their family, or pursuing their dreams, to come talk to their fellow addicts and alcoholics and share how they achieved and maintain a sober life. Think about that for a minute. For me it wasn’t getting clean that was scary it was the question “How do I stay sober after this?” that worried me. Then these fine people start coming in and sharing their experience, strength, and hope and I started thinking “wow these people live this everyday”. The volunteers that come to help others find their way out of the dark and into the light changed my life. My mentor at TLC is a fine example, we have very different views on what “God” is yet he was able to share his story with me in a way I could understand and not get defensive about.
As I said before I have a pretty busy schedule and it seems like a work or school deadline is always due. Given that, it would be easy to say “I don’t have time for this sobriety call right now”. And sometimes that is exactly what I think, but then I remember all the people who shared their time to help me find my way, and I take that call. We can’t keep what we have unless we give it away. That is what all the volunteers managed to teach me, and bless them all for it.
Thank you for letting me share this with you, maybe together we can help some more people find their way.
Mark C. Wescott

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