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Addiction Recovery Research Center

Fralin Biomedical Research Institute

2 Riverside Circle

Roanoke, VA  24016

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Phone: 540-315-0205

Email: iqrr@vtc.vt.edu

Media Inquiries:

John Pastor, FBRI Director of Communications

Phone: 540-526-2222

Email: jdpastor@vt.edu

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kendall's Story 

“Hi my name is Kendall and I’m an alcoholic.

My drinking started when I was about 12, I was the type of kid that would try anything once always the first one to go when a dare was presented. Shortly after I started experimenting with a little bit here or there. I got my hands on a full bottle of wine. Which I drank all of and very quickly. WOW! What a feeling: no worries, not a care in the world. I sat out in our barn and enjoyed the feeling till I thought it was safe to go in the house. From that time on I drank at every opportunity I could, as much as I could.

I didn’t have a lot of troubles as a kid. I came from a good family and went to church every Sunday so most of the drinking went unnoticed. I drank in secluded areas and with enough time that I could be somewhat normal when I returned home. I was an exceptional athlete and one time at about the age of 16, me and a friend got drunk on 100 proof vodka and Sprite. I had a baseball game later that day against a rival city and didn’t allow myself enough time to recuperate. I was not all there for the game and had a routine grounder come up and hit me in the eye, besides the sting I was embarrassed and my batting wasn’t good either. One of the older boy’s chastised me and told me never to show up in that condition again which I did, not because of him, but because I couldn’t stand the embarrassment.

I later obtained a wrestling scholarship and went to college only to find out that I couldn’t preform to my abilities and continue my off campus life so I quit. This was the first time I had ever quit anything in my life and it disturbed me, but not enough to quit drinking. From this time on the alcohol really started to become an important factor in my life. Everything I did involved alcohol. But still I didn’t suffer many consequences; a D.U.I. arrest was just an inconvenience for awhile.

I started to attend AA meetings but usually only when my wife (at the time, I went through several) threatened to leave. I would promise to quit and I would go to meetings and usually last about 30 days. My relationship with my children never suffered too much because even though there was alcohol involved we did a lot of activities together and my work never suffered so I was able to provide for them reasonably well.

My drinking got progressively worse with the amounts rising and the next morning shakes that I could only get rid of with more alcohol. These next morning shakes and the need to be rid of them started causing problems. My handwriting suffered to the point where I couldn’t recognize my own writing without a drink and typing became a one fingered affair when the shakes kicked in. This caused more morning drinking and led to my first job loss at the age of 52. I didn’t show it, but inside I was devastated. I was always very proud of my work and my accomplishments I’d come to know through hard work. At this point I decided that I’d had enough but it was only me who decided it I was still lacking in spirituality.

I went through a nine day detox at which point I felt reasonably well and made it about six months, the longest time I had been sober since twelve year’s old. When I stumbled I fell hard getting another D.U.I. and detoxing this time on an observation room floor in jail. (I wouldn’t wish this on anyone) Next came a twenty-eight day inpatient stay at a treatment center. This gave me some tools to help fight the cravings but I was still lacking spiritually and I only lasted sixty-four days before I decided that a few beers wouldn’t hurt me. My loving wife decided to call my probation officer which landed me in jail again. This time laying on a floor cot in an overcrowded jail cell in Boise, ID praying for forgiveness and relief from my affliction I found spirituality. This led me to really work at my recovery like it is a life or death matter, which I believe it is. I am happy to say that I am sober today through God’s grace and the help of all the wonderful people I’ve met both in meetings and online. I would strongly suggest that newcomers take advantage of all the online resources available. Your browser can give you places to start also there are some social media groups. May God be with you one day at a time.”