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  • Writer's pictureSkyline Recovery

Jack's Recovery Story

My name is Jack and my sober date is February 8th, 2023. The past year has been a whirlwind experience, and I’m extremely grateful for where I am today.

Since my first drink as a Freshman in high school, I have always loved how it made me feel and how I was able to bond with people while I drank. I didn’t drink to excess often in high school as I was focused on getting good grades and performing well in athletics to get into a good college. After graduation, I moved to Madison, Wisconsin to start college. I joined a fraternity and my drinking began to worsen. For the first few years, I was able to manage my drinking, but as the COVID pandemic went along my use significantly worsened. I started to drink in secret every day as classes were all online and asynchronous and I realized that when I wasn’t, I had withdrawal symptoms. 

At that moment, I realized how serious my problem had become, but I knew that if I were to ask for help, I would have to stop and I didn’t want to. At the end of my fourth year of school, I graduated from Madison and moved to Chicago to begin working, where I continued to drink in secret throughout the day. This continued for over a year and a half until my ex-girlfriend, who I lived with realized how serious the issue was and confronted me and informed my family. I tried to keep up the charade for a week longer, but I was beaten and battered and decided that rehab was my only option. After 28 days in a treatment center, I moved back to my apartment in Chicago and stayed sober for all of 2 weeks before relapsing and drinking more than ever. This went on for a few months until I got caught again and this time, I had to start facing real repercussions. My relationship with my ex was over and I needed to find somewhere new to live, but first, I had to go back to treatment.

Going back to treatment for the second time, I had a new perspective on addiction and for one of the first times in my life, I felt humbled. I had no idea where to turn at the moment, but my family and counselors suggested that I look for sober living, which eventually brought me to Bend and Skyline. When I arrived at the Skyline houses, I was unsure what to do, I knew that if I continued to drink I would likely die, but I didn’t know how to live without alcohol anymore.

I recognized that this could be my last attempt at sobriety so I wanted to give the program all I had. One of the first pieces of advice I was given was to say yes to any activity, so I started by going out with the group as much as possible and bonding with the group. It was a struggle for me to find joy in much at first, I missed my closest friends from the Midwest and I struggled with how to be happy without drinking. One helpful thing was finally being honest about all of this with my therapist Ken at Skyline. Even though things weren’t always easy it was always great to be able to share my negative feelings towards my early instances of sobriety with someone who had been through it and could give me advice on how to get through it.

Over the next few months, my days started to get easier until one day in June, when I remember sharing with Ken that if every day was like today, I could stay sober and enjoy it. I remember that day as a massive turning point and started to see the positives in days, even when they weren’t the greatest. That change of perspective carried me through the next several months even when I was faced with some of the events that I thought I might relapse over. I went through the death of a close friend, and instead of drinking, I reached out to friends and my sponsor to get through that pain. I went through my first breakup and when I got cravings, I again had a strong enough foundation to reach out for help again. All of this is thanks to the community I have built, the support from Ken, and all of my collective work at Skyline.

I have since moved on from the program and live with two sober friends and am happier than ever, working a job I love, with the best community I could ask for. Looking back, I thought I would never be able to live a happy and sober life, but after a year and some change, I am excited for what’s to come.

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