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Driven to Isolation

Martin, NC

Hello, my name is Martin and I am an alcoholic.

My sobriety date is October 27, 2005.  

I was born and raised in a small town in Western Pennsylvania. I am an only child and growing up I wanted for nothing. Consequently, I became a very spoiled child. I turned into a spoiled adult. My parents would take a drink, but neither abused alcohol or drank alcoholically. There is, however alcoholism in my family and I remember growing up with the impression that everybody drank. I never saw the consequences just the good times, so drinking seemed natural to me.

Almost everyone in my family was strongly religious and though they exposed me to the church, religion and God, I never got it. I didn’t understand or have any faith in anything but self. When I was 13 my mom got cancer and passed away. During this time I remember everyone talking about praying and going to church. I prayed as well, but when my mom died I quit that and turned my back on religion and God for a long time. One of the results from my mother’s passing was that people felt sorry for me. Regardless of my behavior, I got a free pass. 

My first drink was at age 16 and I remember it clearly. I stole a few bottles of beer from our shed. I guess you could say I snuck my very first drink. Second time I drank I blacked out. That was the first of many. Early on I mostly drank on weekends then and even through my first couple years of college. I was always the one who drank the most and gained a reputation as being able to “hold my liquor.” My last two years of school was a major party and that’s when I began to drink pretty much daily, but without any real consequences. I graduated college with honors and went to work.

Over the next 25 years I became acutely aware of the consequences. I amassed six DWI arrests and spent 30 days in jail. I could have and should have been in jail for more time, but thankfully was not. Considering how often I drove whilst drunk, it is a miracle I didn't kill anyone. I never had a car that wasn't in at least one wreck. Selfishly, I didn't really care. Somewhere along the line, I decided that my problem was driving, not drinking, so I began to drink at home.  

The amounts of alcohol I drank increased to the point that all I really did was work and drink. When I got arrested for my 6th DWI , I was ordered into rehab. It wasn’t my first time in a rehab program, but I never took them seriously. I lied and drank my way through them all. This time though I knew that it was the end, either the end of me from drinking or the end of the drinking , if I wanted to live.

I had hit bottom. 

On 10/27/2005, I picked up a white surrender chip and have not had a drink since. I am so grateful that I came into these rooms, found our program and its way of life. I am blessed with a great sponsor who is also a great friend. Earlier I mentioned that I turned my back on God. But God was there all the time and when I asked for help my Higher Power was, and is, there.

All I needed was to let go, be honest, open and willing and have faith. To walk the steps of AA on the daily path of sobriety is something that I am truly grateful for. Sometimes it is easy to forget that. That is when I have to gain my perspective and remember what it was like before I came in. The blackouts, the fear, the physical sickness of the terrible hangovers, the guilt and remorse. That gets my attention and my head back into our program.

For those of you who may be reading this and are new to AA, trust me when I say anyone can get sober and stay sober with our program. All you need is a little faith and to follow what the Big Book says and sobriety can be yours. Thank you for letting me share.



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