By Trent Rosser
As most of you know, I am a recovering alcoholic. I just surpassed 9 years of being sober this past August. Many a time, people have asked how I did it. Honestly, sometimes, I ask myself that same question. How have I managed not to just give up and go have a drink. I have had my ups, and I have had my downs. One thing stays the same though. I never want to live like the way I was living.
It was not easy trying to get sober, it took a little bit for me to understand that I would no longer be able to drink like a “normal” person. But then again, who is normal? I had been in and out of 12 step programs for a while. I would go in and try to get sober and meet new friends. One of the things that they say is, “you have to change people, places and things”. Meaning you must change the people that you hang out with, places that you go to (dive bars and nightclubs) and things that you do that might set you back to take a drink. I tried it a couple of times, but I needed my friends. One of my problems was, I felt that I needed to be accepted. Not just by my friends, but by everyone that I meet and see. Needless to say, it didn’t work.
Finally, with help from the great State of Texas, and a great man by the name of Judge John Board, I was finally forced to get sober or face prison time. So back to the 12 step program I went. It worked better this time. Instead of only lasting a couple of weeks, I was able to stay sober for about 6 months. Then it happened again. I was with friends and thought, just one beer will not hurt. Boy was I wrong. If you ever hear the saying, “when you start back up after quitting, you start right where you left off!”, I can attest that is very true. I started staying with a friend. We would wake up in the morning and we would start drinking. Sometimes it would still be as early as 7 or 8 in the morning. We would finish off a 30 pack, go to the store, get something to eat and another 30 pack. We would go home, and finish the 30 pack and head back to the store for another 30 pack. Back at the house, we would drink that until we passed out. Wake up the next morning and do it all over again. After about a week of this, I realized that I would not only go to prison, but I was killing myself as well. Not knowing what to do, I talked to a man that had been where I was and knew could help. He and the probation department sent me to a rehab.
When I think, that I could use a drink, or that I might want a drink, I think about the rehab I went to. It was not a very good rehab. I figured I would only be there a few months, but it was 8 months later when I walked out. I believe out of that 8 months, there were only about 6 classes that lasted an hour long. The rest of the time, you had to find a job to pay the rent and attend church on Saturdays and Sundays. The Director (in my opinion) was more interested in making money than helping anyone. It was one of the worst times of my life. So why I did not drink then? After all, half of the clients there were still drinking and doing drugs. Here is why, I was still scared of going to prison. That and I started to get my family back. The longer I stayed sober, the more I realized how much I had hurt the people that loved me. So, during rehab, I stayed sober.
When I did walk away from rehab, I started a new life. Going to 12 step meetings and actually doing the steps. I still kept in contact with some of my old friends, but I knew that when they started to drink, that it would be my cue to leave, and I did. For the first time in a very long time, I kept a job longer than 6 months. I went back to changing tires for big rigs. I have worked in the truck tire business as tire tech and management in tire shops since 2001. Now I was working at a trucking company and had eventually moved into a dispatch position. I have worked with dispatcher in the past, trying to receive payment for tires and services, but I myself have never been in that position. Let me tell ya. It is much more stressful than you would think. I still stayed sober. Constantly getting into confrontations with drivers and upset customers, my stress level went through the roof. I was not going to 12 step meetings as much, but I knew that when things became really bad, the meetings were where I needed to be. That helped me stay sober.
Years pass and I now have more than I thought I would ever have. Not only do I have my family back, but I have a new family as well. My lovely wife and 3 grown kids. Also a 3 year old grandson that thinks I am the greatest thing ever! How can you beat that. No, I still don’t have money, but I have food in my belly. I don’t have a big high dollar truck, but I do have a great reliable car that usually has a full tank of gas. I do not own a big fancy house, but I do have a warm and inviting home. I no longer have friends, but I do have family. Not every day is peaches and cream, but bad days now, are so much better than the good days back then. So how do I stay sober? Easy, why give up everything I have, just for a drink. No thanks, I love my new life.
If you or someone you know have a problem with alcohol or drugs, please seek help. It could be a matter of life and death. You do not have to live the way that you are living now. There is a better way.