Returning home from the Army, a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq, I quickly embraced a lifestyle that was neither healthy nor productive. I also brought home a problem that had been with me all my life – and grown out of control while I worked as an Airborne Ranger: an unhealthy thirst for excitement.
It did not take long for me to destroy myself. I was hopelessly engaged in all kinds of addictive behavior. I was quickly veering down the road of self-destruction. Then, somehow, by the grace of God, I met up with a Vietnam veteran named Buzz Holcomb, who told me about a program called New Directions. I entered the program and got help for my addictions, my PTSD and my legal problems, and I learned how to live a healthier life. The year I spent at New Directions was not easy, but I was tired of being a loser, so I persevered.
Today, I thank God for three and a half years of sobriety. Each day I experience life, not escapism. I now have a handle on my anger and dramatics. I also have a clean court record, which is very important to me. Currently, I am learning to be a broker at a very established securities firm. I feel like I have been given a second chance at life.
More important than anything else, I have learned to care about other people. Loving and helping others allows me fulfillment and a sense of purpose I had never known before. If I can give back to one other person all that has been given to me – then I will consider my life a success.