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Change is a Process

Change is a Process

The story of a guy who grew up in California and having been introduced to a life of chemical dependency, had become a full-blown alcoholic by the age of 21…

Growing up in southern California I’ve seen a lot of changes take place over the years. I remember when they tore down the Brown Derby so that a lovely vacant lot could take its place. I watched as the site of Jungle Land in my home town of Thousand Oaks was turned into strip malls. But not all change is for the worse. My personal journey of recovery from alcohol was a slow but important process.

I knew at the age of twenty two that I was an alcoholic. At the time it was almost a badge of honor for me. I could drink harder and faster than most and bounce back in the morning. Life was going to be one long party. As time went by that party became a one man show. The fun was over and I knew needed to do something but I wasn’t sure what. I decided that my environment was the problem so I moved around the country a bit thinking that in each new city things would be different. Each move that started with so much hope ended up with the same disappointment. Eventually I knew that I and my drinking was the problem. I knew that the time for me to quit had come. Time and time again I would get, “on the wagon” only to fall off and get dragged fifty yards by the team.

I was at an in pass. I knew that I must stop drinking or I was going to die sooner rather than later. I was drinking a fifth of whisky a day and my health was starting to fail. I wanted help desperately but didn’t know how to ask for it. I was ashamed of myself and my lack of ability to control my drinking. Then providence shined upon me in the form of some caring long time friends. I was approached with an offer of help. They helped me fined a rehab close to my home in Ventura County California. I arrived at The Lake House shaking like a leaf. I didn’t know what was in store for me and I didn’t much care. All I knew was that I now had a shot a sobriety. The changes I had longed for came faster than I could have imagined. I was going to AA meetings almost every day, and found a sponsor within my second week. The warm caring staff encouraged my journey from the start. I met with my sponsor at every opportunity and the gifts of sobriety began to bloom like flowers in spring. After my stay I kept in close contact with The Lake House staff and shared with them my new found joy of life. After my stay they continued to give me guidance as I walked the road which was laid out before me. As days became months and months became a year the changes that continue to occur in my life never cease to amaze me. Not every day is roses and rainbows but I know that no matter what life has in store for me I can face it sober if I am willing to accept change with an open heart.