“My name is Bob and I was a daily drunk. Believe when I say, I hated myself very much, every day. I drank through the sadness of both my parents deaths—just to feel, not to feel. After 30 years of drinking, there came the inevitable DUI, followed by the beginnings of the recovery process.
At first I entered into a sobriety class at El Camino, with my wife. When that didn’t suit me, I was invited to leave my home and check into the Camp in August 2000. I returned to the Camp on 12/9/00. This time I listened hard and found another way to approach the problem. I took notes and WORKED the first three steps. I finally got the picture: I was there for MY program and not anyone else’s! I chose a sponsor, and matriculated with a clean date of 12/7/00.
Events occurred to and around me after that date, but I always found ways to not drink. I relied upon my spirituality and recovery to get me through the trials, including stroke, facing job-loss and my initial sponsor leaving the program. I faced these events bravely, going to meetings and talking about them. I found hope in talking to fellow addicts! But I never did ‘replace’ my sponsor, and that was a mistake.
Eventually all and well-meaning in my world caught me up in larger-that-life turmoil and ended up drinking. I did so but kept it ‘hidden’–or so I thought. After 8 months I was discovered by my wife. This was after I had accepted the 8-year chip!! Believe me when I say I was thankful that the bottle was found—I’d forgotten all my principles so carefully crafted for all those years!
I promised that I would get a sponsor and that I would return to sobriety, and I did. I apologized at each and every meeting that I had attended and expressed remorse. I gained a new respect for the power of alcohol. I now hope to remain sober–one day a time.”
“By early 2005 smoking meth had caused life-threatening physical consequences. When my right lung collapsed people told me I needed help. Before that was completely healed the left lung collapsed and I knew they were right. In the hospital I learned that my kidneys were shutting down also so when I was discharged from the hospital I went directly to The Camp.
This was my first exposure to the 12-step recovery program and I began to see things in a different way. As the fog lifted from my mind I started to understand what I was hearing. I learned a lot about the nature of my disease and when recovering addicts came to speak I was able to identify myself in their stories.
By the end of my thirty day stay I had come to believe that if I continued on the path they had followed recovery for me was possible. My counselor suggested that attending weekly aftercare meetings would improve my chances for long-term recovery. Since then I have been a regular at both the meeting Thursday night at The Camp and the Wednesday aftercare group in Campbell.
Using the tools of recovery I have repaired most the wreckage of my past. Now I’m working on a plan to start a new business as a contractor. My life today is richer and more meaningful than I would have thought possible six years ago.”