as told to Megan Behnke
Pain and Addiction
“I couldn’t really function without alcohol. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t really go to work without it. I was physically addicted to it, and without it, I would go into crazy withdrawals and just not be able to do anything. A couple years after going into treatment I started to drink again. I ended up being homeless and friendless and jobless and not treating my depression and totally alcoholic-crazy. I ended up trying to take my own life. Thankfully, a friend who I was not expecting, found me. I was honest with the paramedics when they got there. I was in the hospital and I was completely miserable. I’d only been there a day or two, no medication would be effective for what I needed. Circumstances should be depressing to anybody that was in my position. No family, no friends, no job, no real good outlook for what I had.”
Life in Recovery
“I went to bed one night feeling there was no good outlook for me. I had no energy, I wanted nothing to do with my family. I thought they had really turned their back on me and I was resentful. I woke up the next morning and the whole world was different. I was exploding with energy and I could literally see colors that I couldn’t see the day before. I was really hopeful. I wanted to immediately get back in my family’s life. It was like this complete 180 and I have nothing to attribute it to. I was able to get connected to another treatment facility and it was shortly after being there that I recognized, ‘Oh, that was probably God doing for me what I could not do for myself. He had removed this whole obsession to drink, this whole physical addiction to drinking, and just removed it from my life.’ Today, I have a college degree I obtained at UW Oshkosh, an accounting degree. I own a house, I have a wife, I have a child, I have a job I like, I have more friends than I could probably count. I am very active in AA and I’m highly involved here at the Solutions Club, as well, on the leadership team. My family is back in my life. I’m super grateful to have them around and they’re grateful to have me back. I have regular contact with my parents. I have three younger brothers, I talk to them regularly, we see each other. Family life is good. My life looks like what I had hoped it would look like growing up, before the disease impacted me the way it did.”
Kyle currently works as a manufacturing financial analyst and is heavily involved at Solutions Recovery, Inc. at their Solutions Club, acting as a sponsor for other recovering addicts. For more FIXED stories, please visit www.uwosh.edu/fixed.