My first drink was an innocent bottle of beer handed
to me by friends. After that introduction to alcohol I
abandoned who I was and kept on doing so for a little
over twenty years. I was only a teenager but suddenly
I wanted to drink more than I wanted to hang out with
childhood friends. I abandoned the close relationship I
had always enjoyed with my parents. Over time I drank
more often and with great vigor. My life was changing.
I was growing up and coming out of my shell all for the
sake of alcohol. There was so much I was leaving behind.
I looked forward with bottle in hand. I was about
to abandon everything I had ever held near and dear.

When I was at an age that I could work, earn and live
on my own alcohol showed the power it held over me.
For awhile my life was a blend of hard work, thriftiness
and balanced living. However that proved to be very
short lived. I grew tired of my routine and turned to
alcohol. In a very short amount of time I found myself
abandoning everything I had attained. I was without
possessions, friends or money. And I did not care as
long as I could get that daily fix of alcohol. But I soon
became weary and turned to those who knew me best.
I found myself back at my childhood home. I was exactly
the person I was at ten years old, fully dependant
on those who loved me. Alcohol had robbed me blind
and now I had to start completely over.

But starting over came with a few complications. I was
an alcoholic. I was early into adulthood and I seemed
to think about nothing but drinking. Drinking was suddenly
starting to dominate my time, thoughts and life.
I may have been back with my family but I was cold
and distant. All I wanted to do was drink. I had just
enough sanity in me to work hard and save enough
to move out on my own again. This is when alcohol
knocked me flat on my back! I had abandoned my
new life, my second chance within four months. I once
again found myself on the verge of homelessness.

I did not care. I just focused on drinking. It was all that
really mattered. For the next ten years I lived with various
friends, family and strangers. I rented rooms and
lived on the street from time to time. I did not care and
never felt ashamed. As long as I was drinking I was fine
(at least in my mind). Life was speeding by. Clocks and
calendars did not exist. I soon found myself in such a
depressive state that I seriously considered abandoning
ship by ending my own life. Alcohol had whooped me
physically, emotionally and financially.

It was at this point that I knew I must abandon alcohol
permanently in order to survive. I also knew I could
not do it on my own. I did not know where to start
but I did know that I needed to start immediately. It
didn’t take me long to find a collection of people who
were willing to help me. I became open and honest. I
opened my heart to God. I prayed every morning. I
practiced patience and tolerance. Before I knew it
hope and clarity entered my everyday thinking. I am
the same person today that I was eighteen years ago
and I still practice these spiritual principles daily.