I just didn’t want to live that way anymore

My name is Johnny T., and I am a recovering alcoholic and addict.

My sobriety date is January 19, 2001—that is the day I walked through the doors of Bridge House and my life changed for the better, forever. As I walked through the archway of the front doors on Camp St., I had a strong feeling of relief that everything was going to be okay for the first time in a long time. On January 18, 2001, my addiction and alcoholism had led me to my second suicide attempt.  I was homeless—living in my car—jobless and facing serious jail time for multiple DUI’s. I taped a hose to my tailpipe and ran it back into the car. In the middle of all that, I had a moment of clarity—I realized that I did not want to die. I just didn’t want to live that way anymore. I had to want it enough to go to another human being, ask for help, and do what he or she suggested.

I was in Bridge House the next day. As a result of Bridge House and the 12-step AA program, I have been able to look back at my life and see the debilitating progression of my disease. It can be summed up like this: in my 20s, I had new cars and my own place; in my 30s, I was driving used cars and moving in with other people; in my 40s, I was living with mommy and getting her hand-me-down cars. I entered Bridge House as a little boy, with a little boy mentality, at the age of 46—“I want what I want, and I want it now!”  Because of the structure Bridge House put in my life, that mentality started to change.

A combination of counselors, structure, and group meetings eventually broke through my defenses, denials, and rationalizations. I started seeing things for what they really were, which allowed me to change them for the better.  I started to get tools that allowed me to handle situations in my life and make correct decisions. It wasn’t done overnight, I spent 365 days there, but it was important to my life and my sobriety.  The work that I had to do there, the chores, and the fellowship with the other men have all led me to who I am today. This leads to where I am today. One thing that Bridge House instilled in me was the 12-step AA program, which I am still involved in today, fourteen years later. The honesty and humility taught in the program has also made me who I am today.

Through the practice of the principles of the steps, I went back to work for the company that fired me, and I stayed humble and happy. I truly believe God rewarded me five years later with an opportunity of a lifetime to go into business for myself. Today I am my own boss, don’t want for anything, and am living the life I always talked about in the bar rooms. Thank you God for Bridge House.

Johnny T.

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