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Brian's Story

“If I want to keep my sobriety, I have to give it to others.”

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Tragedy Changes Everything

Brian’s a drummer, and music is a major part of his life. Being in a band comes with a certain amount of exposure to drugs and alcohol, but he was always able to handle it. That is until his sister was tragically murdered. Understandably, this traumatic experience changed everything for him. “That’s when beer wasn’t cutting it,” he said. “I started drinking liquor to numb the pain.”

Life took a rough turn, and things became bleak quickly for Brian. “I beat myself up pretty hard,” he explained. He eventually got two DWIs, which forced him to start attending self-help meetings. It was at this point that Brian was first introduced to AA. However, his initial experience didn’t go well. “I wasn’t ready to quit,” he noted. He said he went just to satisfy friends and family, but not to really address his underlying problems. Nevertheless, whenever he went out and drank, things got worse. Brian finally had enough when he realized that he didn’t “want to die due to this disease.”

His next step involved checking himself into White Deer Run, an inpatient rehab treatment center, in Pennsylvania. Things went well for him there, and he wanted to continue his recovery process. The staff at White Deer Run recommended Turning Point House.

Acknowledging Trauma & Opening Up

He’s been at TPH a little over three months, and he has a lot of respect for the counselors at the program. “They’re awesome,” he said. “They really care.” Brian credits them with pointing out things he doesn’t always see, and that’s been a huge help. In fact, one of the most important parts of his recovery process has been acknowledging the trauma he hadn’t previously addressed. Like with many people with substance use disorders, trauma is a major contributing factor. The staff at TPH work tirelessly to create environments that reduce retraumatization while helping residents to understand their past histories of trauma.

In addition to acknowledging trauma, spirituality has been hugely important to Brian’s recovery process. “When I trust God, clean house, and help others, my life gets better,” said Brian. Today, his experience with self-help is completely different than it was before. “What I looked for in drugs and alcohol, I find in God and AA,” he explained.

Right now, Brian knows he has friends and family members he can rely on. “I have a really good support system,” he mentioned. This will be particularly helpful as he moves onto his next steps. First, he’s planning on transferring to Sundram Manor to continue focusing on his recovery. While there, he hopes to make some connections to join a Christian band. His dream would be to play at the CrossPoint Chapel in Getzville. He’s also exploring options for going back to school, and his top choice at the moment is to become a substance use counselor. “It’s a way of me giving back,” he said. “If I want to keep what I’ve got, I have to give it away. If I want to keep my sobriety, I have to give it to others.”

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