Jacob W.

I burned my house down. I don't know how it happened. Anger got the best of me. I hadn't had a drink in two days and I had run out of patience. I remember my girlfriend looking at me with disbelief in her eyes as I started putting my childhood diaries on fire. I think she tried to stop me, but I don't remember. That's what happens when an addict goes completely out of his mind. I became a monster.

I remember the firefighters asking me how the fire happened, when I sat in my car and drove off the scene. I didn't know where I was going at first; it was so loud inside my head. I felt like my heart was going to throb out of my chest. But as I parked my car at the rehab center, I could feel myself calming down. It was as if everything was only going to get better from there onwards. And it was.

Change is difficult because there's not just one layer. Recovery requires changing all people, places and things that threaten your recovery. I've been clean for a year now. Being in rehab made me realize that my childhood traumas had been dictating my behaviors all my life and I'd been unaware of that. I have no regrets and no doubt that I'm going to stay sober.

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