At 18 I was the first of my family to move out of our little holler and head off to college. I was full of drive, passion, and ambition. I was a full time student maintaining a 3.5 GPA, a full time worker who was being fast tracked into management, and a member of the army reserves, where I reached staff sergeant by 22.
My unit was deployed to Iraq for the beginning stages of operation Iraqi freedom in 2003. When I returned home the drive, passion and ambition I was once full of was replaced with depression and self loathing. I no longer felt “normal” or comfortable in society. I fell into a dark place where I drank myself into a blackout every day to numb the pain and symptoms of PTSD. I followed that path blindly for 12 years in and out of jails and courtrooms losing everything and everyone including myself.
Today I’ve reached out and gotten the help I needed. It’s not back fully but slowly I’m regaining that drive, ambition and passion to make my community, country and hopefully world a better a place. I’ve been clean and sober for 20 months and I’m slowly regaining all that was once lost. My friends, family, jobs, respect, dignity, and myself. I’ve found a love connecting with others who share similar problems and being able to say “me too”.