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Healing Place Alumnus Stories
Healing Place Recovery Stories
Actual recovery stories from real people who have struggled with addictions.

John H.'s Story
“My story isn’t unique but if it helps someone else ... it’s worth telling."

I Never Fit In. My name is John H. and I am an alcoholic and drug addict. Because of The Grace of GOD, AA and my sponsor I haven’t had to drink or use today. My story isn’t unique but if it helps someone else struggling with this disease, it’s worth telling.

I was raised by my Grandmother in Wayne County, WV. As far back as I can remember, I always felt like I never fit in anywhere and that led me to believe I was never good enough for anybody or anything. As a child I would escape by immersing myself in books about animals and nature and I dreamed of one day being a zoologist. At age twelve, I had my first drink from a family member who worked for the railroad. He had a jar of “moonshine” and I took a big drink and it sure did burn going down my throat, but it made me feel different and I liked they way it made me feel. I don’t recall drinking much after that until I was fourteen. I had a beer then another and another; it made me feel like I could do anything and for the first time I believed I fit in. By seventeen, I was drinking whiskey and smoking pot several times a week. I got into a lot of trouble and by twenty- two, I was tired of all the drugs and alcohol. I had a Christian friend who lead me to Christ. For almost a year I studied the Bible and attended church and witnessed to people, but as usual, I didn’t fit in, so I went back to my loyal friend “Jim Beam” and was introduced to a new friend, “Cocaine”.

As my disease progressed I ended up in places that would have broken my Grandmothers heart. I couldn’t stop and I was afraid to try, because I was drinking and using not because I wanted to, but because I had to.

When my girlfriend of four years left me, I thought I may have a problem, so I attended my first AA meeting and remember leaving after the meeting and crying. I was not like them, a bunch of old wrinkled up people who told stories and I thought to myself, “I can’t be one of these people.” Then I thought if I never say that I’m an alcoholic or addict I will still have a chance at being normal. The next day, I went to church and re-dedicated my life to Christ. This time I lasted about two years but I still didn’t fit in. My disease had been waiting and welcomed me back with open arms. I started getting DUI’s and being arrested. My life was out of control and my mother put me into treatment. I met a girl in treatment we went on a rollercoaster ride for the next year. She introduced me to “crack cocaine” and nothing was ever the same again. I went into treatment for the second time, but left and didn’t complete the program. I barely existed for the next two years, until I felt as if I was on my death bed and my sister got me into my third treatment center. I was sick and wanted to die, but I went to treatment. The people who worked there had recovered and shared their story with me. That made a huge impression on me. They were clean and sober and surprisingly, they were happy about it. I completed that program and started attending AA meetings, I found a great sponsor who helped me in ways I would never have believed possible.

Today I’m clean and sober and I’m happy about it. I have wonderful friends and I’m able to love people. I work the 12 steps and help others. I have over seven years of continuous sobriety today and I am grateful to God for everyday. I look at life as a challenge and adventure. I finally found a place to fit in.

John H.

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