One of our clients, Barry, shares his story in his own words:
I was born in rural West Central Ohio- about half way between Toledo and Dayton. We lived so far out in the country; we had to truck in sunshine. I had a typical childhood…everyone in the family was dysfunctional. After high school I continued my education at Ohio Northern University, one of the most prestigious private universities in the Midwest. In 1972, one month after I turned 21, I passed my state boards and because one of the youngest licensed realtors in Ohio. I was fortunate to have a great mentor and I was well on my way- my future was assured.
I only associated with other salesmen who were more successful than i- I wanted to know what they knew and do what they did. I emulated their work habits and I mimicked their social activities- and that included the consumption of alcohol.
In 1976, I left real estate to pursue my sales career in other areas….and my drinking increased. From time to time, my family and close friends suggested that I might have a drinking problem. No way, not me. I know how to drink just fine! Besides, no matter how much I had to drink the night before, I was always at work the next day and I got the job done.
Time passed and things became worse. My drinking increased and minor indiscretions became major problems. Problems bosses could no longer ignore. Appropriate action needed to be taken, first came the verbal warnings, then the written reprimands, and, finally, the terminations.
Each job loss brought a new pledge to stop drinking. A period of sobriety, a new job, and life became good again. It was easy for me to believe this qualified me to drink normally. I resumed drinking, and for a while I was okay…but soon I was drinking as much as ever and eventually I was unable to hold a job.
In 1772, I thought my future had been assured. By 2000, I had become a hopeless, helpless, homeless alcoholic.
On December 23rd, 2010, I entered the treatment/ recovery program at the Gateway Center. Like rekindling a fire, the case managers at Gateway gave proper guidance patience and love to rekindle a glimmer of hope within me. My goal every day is to keep my fire of recovery burning.
As I get older, I dream of leaving the world a better place. If I affect the life of just one other person in a positive way, I will have made a difference!