Sober since February 2, 2004
Dave remembers drinking and smoking pot at age twelve with his older brother. He stuck to drinking beer until after Vietnam. After ‘Nam only whiskey would put him to sleep and quiet the nightmares.
During his thirty-two year career as a union electrician, he preferred Crown Royal and also snorted cocaine. Dave made good money, enough to party every weekend. Soon weekends ran into the work week, and he started using drugs on the job. Over the years his boss sent him to thirteen different treatment centers at the union’s expense. He would stay for six months, work during the day and check back in at night, but he never worked the AA program when he got out.
Tired of his on-the-job drinking, Dave’s boss threatened him with mandatory early retirement just three years short of full union pension and benefits. He also gave him one last chance, but Dave couldn’t stop. When his boss found out, he forced Dave to retire, just as he’d promised. Dave received a lump sum retirement settlement. He blew through it in two years and lost his house, his truck, his Harley. He lost everything.
Dave began to face serious health issues with no insurance. He suffered an alcohol and cocaine induced stroke in 2003. Faced with death, he stayed sober a few months but fell off the wagon again. He woke up in Ben Taub after blacking out in a parking lot. Eventually, MHMRA of Harris County referred him to The Men’s Center.
He’s stayed sober since. Dave explained why the Men’s Center program worked for him when thirteen others didn’t.
“At The Men’s Center, my sponsor Pete knew what it was like. Pete was a recovering alcoholic. He didn’t tell me every step to take. He gave me the tools and told me to work my own program at my own pace.”
Dave began working at The Men’s Center soon after his admission. While manning the front desk, he looked into a mirror every time a man would stumble up the steps to be admitted, and he vowed never to be that man again.
Dave doesn’t think about yesterday’s wrongdoings or worry about tomorrow’s problems. He’s still working his own program at his own pace, one day at a time. And today, he’s staying sober.
Although our stories are true, names and photos have been changed to preserve anonymity.