Category: First Person Testimony

The (Sober) Dating Game

first person testimony

In my first year of sobriety, I made a self-imposed purity pact. I planned to stay out of all relationships until I made it to my first sober birthday. No sex, no drugs, no drink. My best friend Stephanie also took this oath. Together we drank the virgin Kool-Aid that our recovery community suggested was …

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As Sick As Your Secret

first person testimony

I take the subway from Central Park West down to Brooklyn. I’m headed to a party that some old friends from college are having. These are my chique, New York friends who unintentionally make me feel like a country bumpkin. My winter coat didn’t look so boxy, and my boots didn’t seem that scuffed, until …

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Between Straight Lines

Elise abruptly stopped using her brown crayon to color the space between the lines of a puppy. She brushed her wispy blond bangs from her eyes and, with a dead-serious expression, blurted out, “I have to go potty.” My wife, our twin 5-year-old daughters and I walked to the steel door. The counselor unlocked it. …

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The Echo of Our Lives

It can hit any time. Walking into a store, working at my desk, cooking dinner, I hear the bass crash into the piano keys, Eddie Van Halen’s guitar kick in–suddenly I’m fourteen, a suburban kid running with the devil, passing joints at my first rock concert. Loosely rolled doobies drip ashes that dot holes in …

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My Step One Story

Frost lined the edges of the porch windows one morning in February, 1996. My daughter had left for school. As I put milk back in the refrigerator, I noticed ice had built up on the coils again. The refrigerator was an older model and needed to be defrosted the old-fashioned way. I’d just done that …

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To Love Than be Loved

When I was ten years old, my mother gave birth to my youngest sister. Afterwards, she was dead for about eight minutes until the doctors brought her back to life. I was there for my sister’s birth and there afterwards, through all the pain and frantic decisions my parents made following that day. When I …

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Becoming: Growing Into Myself in Sobriety

God having a plan for me is evidenced in reflection of the events throughout my life. As a child, I had struggles that I remember and can feel, but no longer identify with. The growth that comes with age, brain maturation, experiences and learning shape who we are at different times. I think of that …

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The Devastating Consequences of an Addiction

It’s hard to imagine myself drinking or using again. It’s been so long since the last time I got drunk or high that it seems like an alternate life. The old me is a far away, distant memory. No more hangover headaches punishing me for the previous night. That past life of alcohol and drugs …

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My Recovery Story

Hi, my name is John Tolo. Here is my recovery story. I grew up in the toughest ghetto in New England outside of New York City. My family was the only white family in a neighborhood that was mostly Black and Hispanic. We moved there in 1972, at a time when racial tensions were high. …

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Three Stories of Hope

first person testimony

The following testimonials are from Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge in Minneapolis. Some edits have been made for length. Tiffany’s story I struggled with a 15-year addiction to meth, opiates and alcohol prior to coming into Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge (MnTC). My physical health was in shambles and my mental health was unstable. I …

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