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My Journey to Recovery

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My Journey to Recovery

If you looked into my life you would say it was the American Dream. Step foot inside my inner circle and the turmoil, resentment, financial distress and emotional baggage to my loved ones, business associates and myself was overwhelming.photo of Brett a Stepping Stone Center for Recovery Alumna I had many run ins with the law throughout my 20’s and 30’s but always chalked it up to normal life. Never did I tie in that every time I had an issue in my life alcohol was involved. Because see I wasn’t an alcoholic. I never woke up shaking and needing a drink (YET!). My disease had me so convinced that the world was out to get me and every bad thing that happened in my life was someone else’s fault. People, society and God Himself was out to get me. Life wasn’t fair! Never mind all the great things I had in my life despite my selfish actions. Good business, loving wife and 3 great kids from my view. Life was good except for the, what seemed like constant, legal issues due to multiple alcohol related arrests and DUI’s ….. Just a part of life and simple mistakes right? What the disease had blinded me from was the decades of damage I had put on my friends, family and business due to my selfish actions of alcohol and drug abuse. My gift of desperation came on April 20, 2015 when I was arrested for an alleged DUI. As I stood in front of the judge the next morning, at 44, the prosecutor began to rattle off my criminal history during my life. Sitting there in handcuffs, standing in front of the judge it hit me. Didn’t hurt that Judge C. Scrolled through my papers and began shaking his head as he read my criminal history. The next thing out of his mouth was interrupted by me saying, “I Know” as he stated, “Mr Blankenship, you need help!” It was at that moment I realized, this is not normal. Just a brief moment of clarity in a world of darkness. Why it took me till 44 to recognize this is a great example of an alcoholic mentality. We are always the last to see the pain and issues swirling in our life and the cause of them regardless of how far we’ve fallen. I bailed out of jail that day. I was in Stepping Stones by that night still not sure exactly what was the issue or how to solve it but I knew I obviously couldn’t do it on my own. Without even knowing I had entered Step 1. Over the next few days I bought this blue book named “The Big Book”. I began reading the first few preface pages before Chapter 1 and my eyes filled with thick tears as I wondered how they could write my story. It was like a engaging novel that I just couldn’t put down. How in the world was this book able to describe me to a tee? For the next 28 days I dove into Stepping Stones program, The Big Book, classes and meetings – determined to get the most out of this program I could. I had realized I was truly an alcoholic and the book aided by Stepping Stones gave me detailed instructions on how to go about stepping out of the shadows of guilt, remorse and resentments and into a world I knew nothing about – true peace. Never looking over my shoulder, attempting to control situations so they turn out as I needed, hurting the people I loved the most and in my sobriety seeing the trust and admiration grow in their hearts for me. Wasn’t easy, isn’t easy – it’s work and daily work at that. They tell me, “If you want what we have and are willing to go to ANY lengths to get it ……” As of today I have that desire and thanks to Stepping Stones, AA, The Big Book and my sponsor I have the best form of guidance to achieve my daily reprieve that could be orchestrated. When I left Stepping Stones my financial life, family life and legal side were in a major tailspin but I did what they told me to do. I quit thinking for myself and did my daily work. Went to meetings, shared as I was led and the 9th step promises began to reveal themselves to me. You may not know what they are right now but I am living proof they exist. Miracles began to unfold right before my eyes. My business was saved, my health improved, peace filled my body in ways I can’t describe on paper, legal issues began to remove themselves in ways it shouldn’t have happened, doors opened up to me with minimal effort. God was doing for me what I could not have done for myself. Today I seek my Higher Power’s leadership, to the best of my ability, daily. This is a program of progress not perfection. I am a year and 2 months sober and the things God has graciously chosen to give back to me are mind boggling. Come to find out my God is a loving, merciful God who wants the best for me and will meet me wherever I am. Where I was, was dark and cold and where he met me was Stepping Stones. I saw many not get “it” in rehab as you will as well. They taught me this disease wants me one of three ways – dead, in jail or institution and it will never tire and never surrender. Some days are better than others but, for today, I wouldn’t trade my life today for a months worth of the party lifestyle I had created while engulfed in my disease. If you want solutions they are in this program, if you are looking for reasons not to accept this new way of life it’s in this program – the choice is ours. We are a program of principles not attraction. No one could have gotten me sober or make me drink – it is a journey I had to face by myself. What I didn’t know is the drones of brothers and sisters in the book, in Stepping Stones and through my Higher Power that would sit down with me wherever I was and patiently wait until I was ready to guide me out of my darkness. Very grateful for them and their commitment to the next alcoholic and drug addict. No guilt, no shame, no judgement – just love for me as a person wanting nothing in return. Love I never experienced and proud to say today – love I get to give back to you today. The choice is yours, choose wisely. I had another drink in me ….. Not sure I had another recovery, do you? Truly by grace and mercy, C. Brett Blankenship


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