Sober Story - Damien DeVille
My name is Damien and I’m a person in long term recovery. For me this means that I haven’t had a drink since September 22, 2015. Alcohol was my drug of choice and I was never interested in any other drugs. My sobriety date is September 23rd. I live in the Maryland near Annapolis and consider Baltimore my hometown.
I probably spent an average of $100 per week, or $14 a day on my booze.
What motivated you to get sober, and how did you do it?
I was tired. Tired of feeling like I was a bad father. Tired of feeling like I wasn’t doing the right things for me or my family. I wanted to have a better life. My bottom was an emotional bottom more than anything else.
What have you had to sacrifice by being sober?
I’m not sure that I’ve had to sacrifice much. Sure, I can’t have my beer or whisky but that’s about it. I still have many of my old friends and I still do all the things that I did as a drunk, I just do them sober now.
What has helped you along the way?
I went to 12 step meetings every day for the first 9 months of my sobriety. I learned a lot about myself and about how to live happily without booze. I also connect regularly with others via Twitter. Twitter has been an incredible tool for me, it’s like having a meeting in my pocket 24x7.
What was you biggest milestone or victory so far, and how did you celebrate?
Every victory, no matter how small, is worth celebrating. When I reached 1 year I celebrated at my home group. As I approach 2 years sober, I am not sure what I’ll do.
What are some advantages or disadvantages you have that others might not, and how did they help or hurt you?
I got sober while working at a job that was not very demanding. I was fortunate to work from home. This was crucial for me because I didn’t go to treatment. I was physically and emotionally fatigued every day. I took a nap in the middle of the work day almost every day. I’m not sure how I would have survived if I’d had a traditional 9-5 job.
During recovery, what kind of support system did you use and how did you deal with loneliness and isolation?
Twitter, twitter, twitter. And home groups. The phone feels heavy until you dial a number. Then it’s amazing how quickly you feel better when you talk to another alcoholic.
What is your favorite thing about being sober?
No hangovers! Seriously, my favorite thing is that I sleep well and wake up refreshed nearly every morning. I have the energy and stamina to get through even the toughest days now. I got my health back.
What’s your advice for someone just starting out in recovery?
Stick with it. Connect with as many people as you can in recovery - that connection can be in real life or virtual. Stay close to your recovery. Trust your gut. When something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. We are many and varied and we recover in different ways. There is no one way to do it.
What are your goals for the future?
I just want to live my life to the fullest. I want to continue to get healthy and stay healthy. I’ve gotten back into riding my bike and I’ve lost 18 pounds. I’d like to drop about 30 more. I am working to make good choices so that I can live a long and happy life.