Bridge House Gave Me a Life Worth Living

In possession of a persistent resilience for survival, despite the loss of all will to live, is where I had found myself after an eleven year relapse proceeded by nine years of youthful sobriety.  I long had felt Alcoholics Anonymous was no longer of any help to me though I still attended meetings, sporadically, in search of relief from my seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.  Too often I followed such visits to the rooms of AA with a stop at the bar, hoping to just have a couple to take the edge off the hangover that plagued my working hours, only to find myself in that dreaded cycle of not being able to stop after once feeling the effect of the first drink.  I hated myself and my life—the only relief I found was in the form of alcohol and drugs.  I even referred to my drinking and using as a vacation from myself. These vacations usually came with increasingly devastating consequences.  My drinking was a lot like playing Russian roulette in that once started, I had no idea what might happen.  I didn’t always blackout but when I did, I had no control over my behavior.  I was a true Jekyll and Hyde variety alcoholic.  Fights with groups of dive bar frequenters and, in the end, even taking on multiple police officers at once seemed to be a likely finish to an evening with the morning spent in jail or the hospital. One such evening ended with a high speed chase 50 miles south of my intended destination.  I vaguely remember being pulled over initially for driving without headlights at about 3 AM.  Knowing that my defense of,  “I’m sober now”, for an impending felony obstruction of an officer case would not go over well with a DUI arrest along side of it, I decided, in my drunken state, that to drive away really fast was a perfectly logical solution.   Once both the windshield and rearview were filled with streams of blue lights, rather than face the possibility of going to jail for more than a few days, I floored it and steered into a brick wall hoping I could be done with this hell for good.  Instead, I survived the wreck and the bone breaking beating that followed and was then brought to jail anyway despite my best efforts. Realizing the probability that it was not my miserable life that I would end, but more likely the valued life of an innocent that happened to be somewhere within 500 miles of where I took the next first drink, I knew that I could never drink again.  I also knew that I would not, under my own power, be able to live without ever drinking. After a few days in lockup, I was asked by my family, if a space was available, to go to Bridge House.  My answer was “Yes! I don’t know what else I CAN do, but I don’t think I’ll be leaving jail anytime soon.”  Oddly enough I was released on my own recognizance later that day, and I headed to New Orleans to be admitted into Bridge House even though I was certain there was no hope for me there either. I could not have been more wrong.  It was not, by any means, an easy road for me to travel, but Bridge House gave me an opportunity to reconstruct a life worth living by providing me with counseling, challenging work and, most of all, a safe place to work on getting better with the help of the entire community that is Bridge House. Presently I am continuing my college education, and I have been working as a lead veterinary technician for several years.  I now wake up every morning eternally grateful to be alive and to have been given the ability to experience a life full of purpose and wonder—a life I never knew I could have.  A life I would never have had if it had not been for Bridge House. Wirth

Your gift helps keep our programs running

Donate Today

Stay in Touch