Drugs and alcohol have taken everything and everyone I have ever loved or cared about

My name is Mark D.  I am currently a client at Bridge House.  At the age of 53, I never imagined spending my golden years in a drug and alcohol treatment facility.  For over 35 years I have swallowed, smoked, snorted, or shot anything and everything that would let me escape from reality.  Drugs and alcohol have taken everything and everyone I have ever loved or cared about.  When I check in at Bridge House to speak or make an announcement to the community, I check in as Mark D.—alcoholic and addict.

I was once asked by a client, why both.  I explained to him that back in 1994, after drinking all night and with impaired judgment, I made a decision that would scar my soul for the rest of my life.  With less than a mile to go to my house, I drove up on the sidewalk and struck and killed a pedestrian: Mark D., alcoholic.  Here it is, some twenty years later, and again with impaired judgment after getting high on heroin, I made a decision that would darken my soul for the rest of my life.  I gave my wife, the person I loved more than life itself, her first shot of heroin and it killed her: Mark D., addict.

I arrived at Bridge House some four months later, angry at God, the world, and everybody in it.  For the first three months at Bridge House I didn’t speak to anyone, didn’t participate in the recovery program, and wasn’t a part of the community.  My attitude eventually got me kicked out; where, without the coping skills I needed, I turned to heroin within less than a week.  Instead of getting high, I got robbed and beaten.  Again, I turned to Bridge House for help.  This time I am fully invested in my treatment plan, and I participate in community and group.  I work with my counselor and sponsor, and I am currently doing my 9th step.

I believe that with the tools I have learned and the coping skills I have acquired at Bridge House—and with the help of N.A., A.A., and god—the chance of me living a clean and sober and happy life is not only possible, it’s probable.

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