About OWN Sobriety
OWN Sobriety is a blog and resource site, launched in August 2018, that is dedicated to a modern and holistic approach to recovery from addiction. OWN Sobriety promotes understanding and exploration of ALL recovery programs. It’s about finding the tools that work for each individual and making your recovery your own.
About Mike III
OWN Sobriety is owned and operated by me, Mike III. I have struggled with alcoholism and addiction for several years. After many failed attempts, I have finally discovered a combination of tools, programs, and resources that work for me. My sobriety date is January 17, 2018.
My Story (The Quick Version)
I started drinking in high school. It was just socially, but looking back, the feeling I got from alcohol made an impact starting from the first time I drank. I’ve been very introverted my entire life. Mostly due to anxiety. Back then I didn’t realize I had an anxiety disorder, I just knew that I felt relaxed and became outgoing once I got alcohol in me. So I think I enjoyed drinking more than most kids did.
Once I turned 21, drinking became a regular occurrence for me. I found some success in starting a small business and kept pretty busy, but I became a nightly drinker to unwind from the busyness.
In 2007 I got a DUI. While there were consequences from the law, it wasn’t a serious issue to me. In fact, I kind of saw it as a rite of passage. Getting a DUI was just part of life.
In 2009 I had a kid from a relationship that quickly deteriorated, plus I was struggling with the ending of my business. I bounced between jobs and business ventures with no real direction. That’s when I began day drinking. I still didn’t consider my drinking a problem, but in the back of my mind, I think I knew that I was crossing a line.
I’m not sure at what point the line was crossed, probably sometime in my late 20’s. At 28 I had my first full-blown panic attack and had to be rushed to the hospital. That’s when I discovered Xanax and the whole benzodiazepine family. I wasn’t completely honest about my drinking problem and mixing benzos with alcohol quickly threw my life into a tailspin. For the next several years I would bounce between cities, jobs, arrests, and rehabs. I became a person I hated and my addiction, as well as anxiety and depression, grew much worse.
Finally, there came a breaking point. I couldn’t handle the misery and anxiety anymore. I went to see a specialist about my anxiety and tremors. They told me they could only help if I immediately went to a detox and got clean. So I did. I was serious about solving the issues with my life and decided to take advantage of all available resources, listen to all professionals, and work at overcoming my addiction so I could finally face my anxiety head-on.
After eight days in detox, I completed a seven-week intensive outpatient program. Then I completed a 16-week relapse prevention group. I started seeing a therapist. I began learning everything I could about addiction and recovery. I adopted new healthy lifestyle habits – meditation, journaling, exercising and more. I found a passion for recovery and decided to return to school to pursue a degree in Addictions Counseling. I have found a happiness I haven’t felt in many years. I’m optimistic about life again. I’m blessed and grateful to have a second chance at life and it’s going to be spent helping others who struggle with addiction.
Around the beginning of 2019, a compulsive gambling addiction rose to the surface. With all of the hard work I had put into my recovery, gambling was my distraction to relax. Gambling had been a problem for me previously at times, but it would come and go and I always attributed it to my drinking. Now, without a substance to blame or rely on, I had to start addressing the gambling problem head-on. Through continued counseling and working on developing new coping behaviors, I have been able to get a hold on the problem. The program of SMART Recovery has been an instrumental tool in this process.
In May of 2019 I applied for a scholarship to the SMART Recovery Facilitator Training course. I was awarded the scholarship and completed my training in July 2019. With this training, I have started a new meeting in my hometown. It is very fulfilling to use my training to facilitate SMART meetings and to help others learn how to improve their lives.