Voices in Recovery | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Voices in Recovery

David P.

My name is David P. and back in 1978 my kids’ mom “drug” me off to the Alcoholism Counsel of the Sierra Nevada because “she” had a problem with my drinking. We went to counseling on and off for several years, and in 1980 I went back alone to try and salvage what was left of the relationship.

I realized once I was sitting in front of this drug and alcohol counselor, that what was really wrong with me was that I had an underlying psychological problem that “made me drink” and I actually needed psychological help not drug and alcohol help. If you grew up with my parents you’d drink, too. Anyway, after receiving a DUI in California and within a month another DUI in Nevada, I picked up a third DUI in Nevada while driving my Volkswagen in a black out, that resulted in my running head on into a brand new Monte Carlo. I was lucky because I could have killed the driver, but he managed to escape with minor injuries although both cars were totaled. It took a year of intense physical therapy and a lot of feel good medication, before I was back to a semi-normal state of physical functioning.

It was during this time that I finally walked into the doors of ACSN because “I” had a problem with alcohol and now, drugs. An old guy there named Milt let me puke and sleep and feel like I had been run over by a freight train while my body detoxified itself off of the drugs and alcohol. Death would have been welcome, but fate had another purpose for me. Through ACSN I was counseled and loved back to health by people who cared about alcoholics and drug addicts. Thank God they held me accountable and called me on my manipulative tendencies which I eventually began to recognize and change. They introduced me to 12-step recovery and encouraged me to incorporate the 12-step philosophy into my life long recovery program. I learned that alcoholism and drug addiction is a terminal disease and if I did not keep it in remission by abstaining from alcohol and drugs, I would certainly die.

I can share with you that I have not had a drink of alcohol or taken any illicit drug or misused any prescription medications since Dec. 24, 1980. I have had the pleasure of watching ACSN grow and change over the past few decades. In 1991 ACSN changed their name along with the level of professionalism and services they provided, to Sierra Recovery Center. I have continued to be a proud alumnus of ACSN/SRC and have maintained a close level of involvement and support of this agency. I continue to follow the direction I received there so long ago by regularly attending 12-step meetings. I frequently identify with others I meet in this community that have benefited by participating in treatment at SRC and 12-step support which touch and help change individual lives and affect the futures of families.

My relationship with my kids’ mom ended, but I didn’t drink or use. My kids grew up with a dad that practices a program of recovery and role models integrity. My life today is more than I ever could have imagined all those years ago because I have maintained my abstinence from alcohol and drugs. And it all began with the counseling, support, love and guidance I received at ACSN/SRC and the friendly fellowship of 12-step meetings; people who I could identify with and be accepted for my past destructive behaviors. They loved me until I could like and forgive myself. What a rewarding journey that never ends …

— David P. is a former client at Sierra Recovery Center.

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