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Substance Abuse

Veterans & Recovery

Steve C.

My name is Steve C.

I have been sober since August 10th, 1994. Every day is a success for me when I continue to make the choice to not drink or drug.

My journey has not been so different from other people who have suffered from alcoholism/drug addiction & have come to the point of recovery in their lives. I say this, because I’m no longer terminally unique like so many that feel like they are before hitting bottom.

I started drinking & drugging at a very young age (in the late 1960’s early 1970’s) more to fit in at first, but alcohol flipped that magic switch in my life from the very first time I drank. Like any other addict/alcoholic, I chased that first “release” way beyond the point it stopped working for me. By the end of my drinking career, I was at a personal hopeless state. It was that point of not wanting to drink anymore & not seeing life without it, and not having the tools to step out of the depression, self hatred, and everything else that goes with hitting bottom, so I did what came natural & attempted suicide.

On the surface, my life looked good.. full time job, nice place to live, playing in multiple bands, etc. ( I have been a musician since the mid 1970’s )On the inside, I was dead, so I tried to finish the job with my own hands. This brought me to a realization that I needed help, and I contacted my local Veteran’s Psychiatric clinic to talk to someone. In very short order, I was being checked in and my journey to recovery began. (Navy Veteran 1980 to 1982)

While in the treatment program, I learned about addiction, patterns, they physical & psychological effects…and more than I can remember.. I was also introduced to A.A. I started attending meetings at the hospital, and soon as I was released, sought out a meeting hall close to home.

As many do, I have faced the challenges of life on life’s terms. The biggest part of it is, I no longer use drugs or alcohol to face them. Some of the things in life that have crossed my path in recovery have been the loss of close friends & family from death, loss of relationships, jobs, financial ups & downs. I have also had much success and happiness while being sober. Today, I am married to a wonderful woman who does not drink or drug, Have formed my own band, and run the business of bookings & promotions.

Early on some have warned me of the dangers of continuing my music career due to places that offer work for musicians being bars & night clubs. That has never been a temptation for me. It may be for others, but on my end it comes from putting into practice what is in the Alcoholic Anonymous book about not hiding from life, but having something to offer, and being of maximum service.

I never know who will see my example of being in the mainstream of life, being sober, and what that impact will have on that person.

One big life event that happened on my 8th sobriety anniversary, was a head on collision. My passenger did not survive, and it was one of those moments where a choice was made. Do I use this as an excuse to drink, or do I use this as an opportunity to show what can be survived, and still remain sober? I made the choice to remain sober. This year, on August 10th will mark 18 years sober, and 10 years since that accident. The thing that kept me strong after having a passenger die in a vehicle I was responsible for is this.. That person heard the message of recovery before the accident happened.

Today, I do my best to carry the message, make myself available for those in need of my experience, and to take responsibility for my small part in recovery. The rest is out of my hands.

Thanks For Listening.”

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