I Needed Hope!
Hi I’m Bill. My introduction to the Mission was eye-opening. As I’m recovering, I want to help give to others the help that I’ve been given; even if it’s just to give hope. I certainly needed hope!
Besides having an alcoholic father, my childhood seemed pretty normal. I finished school, went to college, and worked in floral design in the summer. After graduation, I opened my own floral shop, and ran it for 22 years. Would you believe life in a floral shop can be quite hectic and stressful?
I was always a social drinker, but near the end of the business it began to escalate. My life moved quickly and alcohol seemed to slow my brain down and take the edge off. There didn’t need to be a reason to go drink—it just reached that point. One drink led to another, which just shut down my life. Drinking strained my marriage, which led to tension and disagreement, which made me drink more. I reached a point where my drinking became totally unmanageable, and I went to the hospital. After diagnosis of pneumonia, a medically induced coma, rehab, and physical therapy, you think I would have learned my lesson. Then a close friend passed away and I plunged into a terrible alcoholic episode. I made the choice to enter detox just before Christmas.
Wow. I’ll be honest—I was sober, but not in a good place mentally. Alcoholics can feel a lot of self-loathing when thinking about how many lives they negatively affect with alcoholism. Family, friends, employers, acquaintances all feel the collateral damage of this terrible disease. My daughter once looked at me and said “I see the body of my father, but my father isn’t really there.” After first arriving and looking around at the Mission, I thought “How could I let this happen?”
But I get support and stabilization here, and now I’m learning how to do this on my own. Staff help and support me with encouragement, guidance, and positive feedback. I’m switching over and putting the work into changing my life, which can bring some healing to all of those people that I hurt.