Richard – A Military Alcohol Addiction Recovery Story

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In 2012, I was diagnosed as alcohol-dependent by my military substance abuse counselor. Based on my history of drinking, I was recommended for 30 days of inpatient treatment. This was not what I wanted, but it felt like my last hope to have a chance at salvaging my military career and restoring my marriage. That summer, I arrived at the Bradford Treatment Center in Warrior, Alabama, and I was physically, emotionally, and spiritually bankrupt. I had wasted away everything that mattered to me with alcohol, and my life was completely out of sync with what I wanted it to be.

The treatment I received at Bradford met me where I was, and took me on an unexpected road to healing. I was part of 12-step recovery meetings for the first time. I participated in outdoor confidence and trust building activities in the woods with my group, and I found some of the best relief through daily morning workouts and yoga. You hear the AA “big books” talk about spiritual experiences in recovery, and at some point in my 30-day inpatient treatment, I had my own personal experience with this. The seed of recovery was deeply planted, and my desire to stay sober grew and grew. 

I feel like through my treatment, the people at Bradford helped save my life. My counselor had such an impact on me, teaching me that we can’t fight addiction alone. I ended up going from someone who was broken and addicted, to a man claiming his sobriety and helping others do the same. Three years after my own experience, I became a Bradford employee and worked as an emergency crisis consultant for a year. 

This June, I’ll celebrate eight years of sobriety, and I still work for it every day. I’m in active recovery, attending meetings, having a sponsor, and even sponsoring other alcoholics and addicts. My life has been changed, and I’ve seen so many other lives changed, too. I am beyond confident there is life and hope beyond addiction, and I’m so glad I found it.

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