My name is Dalton and I’m an alcoholic and a drug addict.
I’m not sure if I was born like this or if I somehow crossed a line, but what happened was that alcohol and drugs took over my life. It progressed quickly. When repercussions of my drinking and drug use would set in, I would invariably find myself in a program and with all the best intentions, promising myself and others that I was done. The ‘done’ part never seemed to be happen. Well I can still have a drink, it’s the drugs that are the problem.
Over and over, I repeated this pattern in different ways, with different chemicals, different circumstances, and in different cities. It was never easy to stop drinking and using, but it was significantly more challenging to stay stopped. Eventually, reality hit me as I reached yet another bottom. For the first time, I had some clarity.
During the course of my inpatient treatment, it was strongly suggested that I find a structured sober living. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I was willing enough to do what was suggested to me. When faced with the gravity of my situation and the reality that I would likely end up back to what I always do, drinking and using drugs until I reach an even lower low, I was willing to give anything a shot.
Willing: that’s how I walked through the doors of The Last House and how I started my journey of recovery. My experience in The Last House was profound. I was certain it was the intensive outpatient therapy I attended that would be the catalyst for change, but in retrospect it was the The Last House. It was a community that supported me, challenged me, and most importantly guided me into the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, where I found a solution to my alcoholism and drug addiction.
However, that solution requires work and I don’t believe I would have been able to maintain the concerted effort needed for it. Willingness for me tends toward the ephemeral; it’s here and then it’s gone. Had it not been for The Last House providing the community, structure, and time for me to nurture that willingness, and holding me accountable to the work required for the 12-step program of recovery, I would not have the life I do today.
My sobriety date is July 17th, 2013, and I am 31 years old. I graduated from The Last House in August of 2014 at the age of 22. I live in Paris, France. I have a career path, a wife, and two degrees now. I have healthy relationships with my family and friends. I have stability, freedom, peace, and my life looks vastly different than it used to—inside and out.
I was promised a life beyond my wildest dreams. As Disney and fanciful as it sounded at the time, it turned out to be true, only in a different way. Life isn’t going to be perfect and material successes aren’t guaranteed, but what I have is a life that I didn’t know was possible. The idea of spending even one day free from that aching feeling to alter my state of consciousness with alcohol or drugs seemed impossible — that was beyond my wildest dreams. It’s not always easy and life gets vastly more complicated. I am not perfect, not even close; however, I have tools, people, and a program of recovery to help me walk through whatever comes my way.
If you’re just coming to The Last House, I hope you make the best of it. I hope you get to see things from a different perspective and I hope you get to meet people that challenge you. No mater what, I hope you find the freedom that you deserve, and I hope that you get to help others find it too.
April 20th 2023