Alumni of the Month February 2011 Dennis G

I always thought my life was in control when it came to my drug use; I was a good provider for my family, I owned a business, made money, had a beautiful home and I was there as a dad to my kids while being a decent husband.

Looking back now I see that I had been in trouble for a very long time.  I was a very secretive, sneaky addict doing my best to make everything on the outside look good.   When I got divorced in 2002 there was an explosion of addiction in my life.  I was completely out of control!  No one to be accountable too, my drug use became a daily thing and I couldn’t stop.

My brother found recovery in 1999 and I noticed his life getting better as mine plummeted down rapidly.  When he went to treatment it opened my eyes to a way out.  I struggled trying to get clean.  I finally found Last Door.  My thoughts were not of relief, but more like my life and fun were now going to end.  But deep down I knew this had to be better way to live.

Thinking the fun was over in my life changed within the first 30 days at Last Door.  I realized my past was far from fun and that life could be an exciting new adventure clean.  I felt I belonged, a part of something bigger than I could have ever imagined and a place where I fit in.  I’ll never forget the day Dave (Last Door Executive Director) took me to get my guitar out of the Pawn Shop.  All he wanted in return was for me to do it for someone else.  He said “you never have to pawn it again”.  I felt like he believed so much in me and in recovery; that I would do this.  Other momentous times were when I would see Alumni come in and talk about their personal adventures clean.  Motorcycle trips to California, what meetings were like in other cities and talk about this guy Bob B who helped write the Basic Text for Narcotics Anonymous.  Listening to Ron John sit in group saying he loved Last Door and would come up to visit a few times a year from California after 15 years clean.

I was in my first 30 days and something clicked in my heart. I saw people living and enjoying life in recovery.  Just the way I read it in the Basic Text.  I began to believe I could like this way and maybe my life was just starting not finishing.  I poured my heart into this program and Last Door; 30 days became 60 days, then 90 days.  For me Step 9 was a huge Step. I feel it allowed me to wipe the slate clean and move on to my new life in recovery.

I got so much out of the Steps and the Programs at Last Door; I believe they got me to the starting line in my new life in recovery and Narcotics Anonymous.  My life today is like a dream, I’m the guy sharing about trips to California, motorcycle rides, loving Last Door.  I now have a story of going to meet Bob B at his home group in Culver City, California.  I get to be a Dad again.  I get to play music with my daughters.  My guitar has NEVER been back to the Pawn Shop since.  My Daughters share about how grateful they are for Last Door giving them their Dad back and how much they love my life in recovery.  They believe me when I say Last Door saved my life.  Just mentioning Last Door, my mom and dad tear up and feel grateful.  I no longer feel like a secretive fraud.  I’m able to live my life proud and out in the open.  I have nothing to hide today and that is the freedom I have been searching for my whole life.

The way I see my life today is to continue on this journey.  I still pour my heart into NA, the steps and giving back to the new guy at Last Door.  I am committed to living and enjoying my life without the use of drugs.Dennis G

Thank you forever.