The Times West Virginian

December 10, 2012

Range of emotions

Loneliness, anger often follow addicts on road to recovery

By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — It was 4:30 in the afternoon that day, and “George J.” was driving home from a local mall.

He remembers the moment vividly, because it’s when he finally decided he didn’t want to be wrapped up in an addict’s lifestyle anymore.

The road to that decision was certainly a bumpy one. George had gone from working in a million-dollar company to getting kicked out of a rehabilitation treatment center. He had been fired from his job. His family life had suffered.

But that day in 2004 is one that has stuck with him.

“My sobriety date is Feb. 14, 2004,” he said. “I remember distinctly saying I didn’t want to live with the pain and the torment that alcohol was creating in my life.

“I believed at that point I hit a bottom, a spiritual bankruptcy.”

George, a Marion County man who asked to use his Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous name, described his experience with drugs and alcohol as a lonely time in his life.

His experimental alcohol use started when he was in high school, mostly on the weekends. When he got to college at Fairmont State, he began hanging out with

what he described as the wrong people.

“My increasing activities with the wrong crowd and the wrong people, who weren’t career-oriented and weren’t professionally oriented people, led to experimentation with other substances such as marijuana and amphetamines,” he said.

George withdrew from college after two years and relocated to Houston, Texas.

“At that point, Houston, Texas, was like a little bit of a calm before the storm,” he said.


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