I came to the Mann House the weekend of July 4, 2005 after spending 28 days in a treatment center. The circumstances that led me to inpatient treatment and a recovery house for chronic alcoholics were much the same circumstances that lead most people like me to seek help. I absolutely loved to drink alcohol, and at the end, I also loved heroin.
I fell in love with alcohol in my late teens. For me, the drink was a very important social lubricant. I couldn’t function in social situations without drinking. I spent my early twenties working in a bar. I fell in love with the bar scene almost immediately. I made a lot of money and the social awkwardness that plagued me during my teens melted away. I met a lot of people in the bar that were involved with prescription drugs, and I began to use those in addition to the drink. My addiction progressed and during the last two years of my active alcoholism, I became an everyday opiate addict, resorting to the needle at the very end.
When I showed up to the Mann House I was 30 days sober, scared and the social awkwardness had returned in full force. The company of my housemates in early recovery offered me some relief, but I was still very apprehensive. I was fortunate to get plugged into Alcoholics Anonymous pretty early on in my sobriety and further, to get plugged in with people in A.A. who were active in service work, and ambitious about helping other Alcoholics. I got a sponsor who pushed me through the steps and within a short time I began to feel at home at the Mann House and the obsession to drink and shoot heroin had been lifted.
For me the Mann House provided a great home in those precarious early months of sobriety. It provided me with a strong base from which to get plugged into AA and find recovery. And that is exactly what happened. Through working the twelve steps I developed a relationship with a God of my understanding that solved my problem. I made amends for my past wrongs, began carrying the message of A.A. to the best of my ability, and trying to practice those principles that I learned as a result of going through the steps.
Today my life is not at all what I would have ever expected it to be. As a result of practicing the twelve steps, I have been able to repair damaged relationships with my family and become a better member of that family. Sobriety has also afforded me the opportunity to go back to school and in two weeks I will be graduating from Towson University. I inherited the ambition to help people from my sponsor and have found a job which will put that ambition to work; teaching social studies, beginning next fall, in inner-city Baltimore. The greatest thing about my life today is that I do not have to drink or shoot heroin. Sobriety for me used to mean restlessness, irritability and discontentedness. I was never able to stay sober nor did I really want to. As a result of the actions I have taken in A.A., I not only have found sobriety, but I have found happy contented sobriety, which I never thought was possible.