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Constance Ray, one of the creators of Recovery Well and the team developed a site out of love and compassion for those who have been affected by addiction in some way. Of course, there are millions of people struggling with an addiction, but there are also many of us who have seen how debilitating addiction is by witnessing people we love endure it. The site is to give hope to those whose lives are being affected by substance use disorder, no matter what way that may be.
If you were to ask two recovering addicts about their drug of choice, you might be surprised by their answers. Although beer isn’t often thought of as addictive, for those who can’t stop it is the same thing as a drug. For them, an empty bottle is met with an intense need for more. Constance shared a story of a recovering addict who hit the bottom of the bottle before choosing a sober, happy life.
Kip’s tale starts at the young age of 18. He was at the peak of his high school career, enjoying teenage freedom.
“I was a senior quarterback in high school, dating the head cheerleader, and driving a new Mustang. Life was good. However, I started drinking more and more,” Kip said.
Kip looked much older than the kids his age, so it became his summer job to sell alcohol to local, underage teens. However, Kip didn’t stick to just the entrepreneurial side of alcohol. He began sneaking alcohol to school in a Nyquil bottle.
“I kept that bottle in my locker, and I’d hit it between classes. I was drinking every day at school, Friday nights after football games, and every weekend,” Kip said.
Kip’s drinking followed him into college, becoming a daily habit.
“My DOC [drug of choice] was beer. No drugs, and besides my year of vodka with Nyquil, no hard liquor. I thought beer was the healthiest way to go: it was 78% water. I loved the taste—in fact, I still do,” Kip said.
Kip drank every single day for 30 years, until his wife took his daughter to a therapist for depression. When his daughter revealed that her father drank too much, DHS got involved, requesting that Kip seek treatment. In the blink of an eye, Kip set out for the Treehouse in Texas.
“I had my last two beers at the airport before flying down to Texas. From that day, my life changed forever,” Kip said.
Kip quickly realized that alcohol doesn’t define who he is. “Beer was my security blanket. I was afraid I wouldn’t be fun at parties, or that I wouldn’t be funny or sexy. People always laughed at my jokes at parties, or told me how good I looked. And I was drinking when those things happened—so it had to be the beer, right?” Kip explained. “It was all a lie. I’m much more confident now, and I feel better now than I ever did with a beer.”
Kip credits getting treatment for not only saving his life, but saving the relationship with his wife and kids.
“My wife…there hasn’t been a day that has gone by she hasn’t told me how proud she is of me. And it melts me every time,” Kip said, adding, “And to hear my daughter say she’s proud of me is incredible.”
If you decide to seek treatment, Kip suggests embracing the new journey wholeheartedly.
“You can either do it, or you don’t. I never missed a class. I was there for my own benefit. What did I have to lose? If you go there, you have to embrace it. You have a better chance if you embrace it,” Kip said.
There is help available for anyone with an addiction—get the help that you need.
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