National Suicide Prevention:
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I Have Found the Answer

The idea of living sober was not an idea I ever gave serious thought to, however I had fantasized about it in my mind. My true thoughts had centered more around controlling how much I drank. If you think about it, if I’m trying to control how much I drink, there just might be a problem. I tried Self-help books, geographical cures, which included getting away from people that I thought were some of the reasons why I drank so much. Once I even tried to go into the Peace Corps. I tried to exercise and other activities which included taking pottery, water color class, and piano. All which actually never worked out. All I ended up doing was to drink before these activities because we all know alcohol encourages creativity. Oh how we deceive ourselves. All these activities would just fall wayside after a few attempts. I would just lose all interest because what I really wanted was to drink more. The insanity of it all.

One would think that the consequences of DUI’s, and yes, that is the plural form, might get my attention enough to change. It did introduce me briefly to Alcoholics Anonymous by way of the court system, at that time a did not leave an impression on me. I was not ready. It would take more to get my attention. Through the consequences of my last DUI, it was strongly suggested that I seek out the North Carolina Caring Dental Program. Which began with an assessment and some time at a treatment center period. Of course, at that time I thought it was a little drastic. There began my journey in the recovery. And living sober. When I released, all I could grasp or even imagine was living sober for five years., long enough to get through my five year contract with the CDP. But what happened was amazing. I learned how to deal better with life’s ups and downs soberly, And as the years went by, I learned I enjoyed live sober.

Through AA, going to meetings, working with a Sponsor, Doing the 12 steps of a I was reintroduced to God, and for the first time, I began an actual relationship with God. And all that is kept me sober for 16 years, period. I now cannot imagine life not being sober, And I love that. That says it all.

Had it not been for the NCCDP, none of this may have ever happened. I must also give credit to those that stuck around to give back, to share their experience, strength and hope. This is a WE program. This brings me back to God and the 12 steps which suggests that to keep what I have, I must give it back., and to be of maximum service to others. Which includes people in and out of the program, including family, friends, and strangers. Through service, we will have every while at the same time help someone else. Even if it’s not received well, a seed might be planted. It all strengthens me in living life in recovery period. Presently, I am a peer support volunteer. I work with others, participate in my Home group, and take meetings into a detox center. This all protects my sobriety. I’ve heard it said in many ways, like it’s money in the bank, or insurance. All I know is it works. Staying in the middle of recovery and helping others is what I find works. Living sober is where it’s all at for me. One day, I hope to have lived more days sober than in addiction.

— A Dental Hygienist Who Gives Back —