Congrats to Graduate Pete E.

Before I came to the Last House my life and my outlook on it was bleak. My whole life I have suffered from my mental illness and my battle with depression. I let my very life sink down into an abyss of self-pity, victimization, and morbid reflection on how it had turned out and how the world had done me wrong. All of this was how I was living before I discovered that if I self medicated with alcohol life didn’t seem so bad, or at least I didn’t care if it was. Of course it started off as fun, I finally got out of my shell and out of my house for once, and I had a lot of friends, and a growing social life. But all of this did not last for very long. After a year I started to wake up in the mornings drenched in sweat, shaking violently, with crippling anxiety. I learned that if I kept drinking that this would solve my problems with withdrawal. I carried on for the next few years in a constant state of intoxication. Eventually I lost all of my friends, the girl left, and I had quit my job with the idea that if I did not have money for alcohol I could finally stop. But all that did was give me more time to drink and it allowed me to get creative on how to do so. I eventually started conning strangers into giving me money, including my friends and my family. When I couldn’t do that I resorted to stealing from anyone unfortunate enough to be around me. Over time my tolerance to alcohol became so strong I had to be lethally intoxicated to even get some relief.

That cycle continued on for 2 years. During that period I had been in and out of detox for god knows how long; there were times I felt so defeated. I would tell the detox doctors I was having thoughts of killing myself so that they would keep me for some time, so that I could have a break from my family who I had a huge resentment against. After three stints in residential treatment I was introduced to a man by my counselor at Great Oaks recovery, named Chris Kirby, who came to my treatment center to tell his story of recovery and hope. After talking with Kirby for some time he told me about recovery in LA, about seeing the beaches, surfing, the women, hitting AA meetings in Compton, and going skiing and snowboarding in the mountains. Finally, what really sold me was “All our houses have dogs!” So after making all the arrangements with my father I flew out to LA and was picked up at the airport by Mike J. I was in shock my first week I was at the Last House because of all the rules and structure. My flight response’s kicked in and I begged my family for months on letting me leave. For months I resisted the house, I felt as if everyone was out to get me, I felt like I was an outcast in a place I couldn’t escape.

Over time I started to see all the benefits in the house and in the groups and how the house really could save me from myself. I started listening to what others had to say about what they saw in me. My progress was not a steady climb, I had many falling points in my character, and there were times if I fell I wouldn’t stay down for long. But eventually the result was the same, I would get back up and keep going. I’ve had to face a lot of fears during my stay here, one of them being close with a group of guys and being vulnerable at times. I have most definitely not done this house perfectly, but it has done what it was made to do for me. Everything that I wanted in my addiction, I now have in my sobriety: a job, my own place, a girl who loves me for me, self confidence, and the drive and determination to do better for myself. I owe the Last House my life, because I have spent the last few years trying to end it. I can now look in the mirror and be happy with what I see.

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