I began my drinking at age 16

I began my drinking at age 16, and within three years my life was going down-hill.  Once I got into college, drinking started to affect all areas of my life.  By 2010 I had been in detoxes, hospitals, counseling, and in trouble with the authorities.  Outside of these circumstances I was feeling more and more alone, detached, lost, and worthless.  It was a pitiful and demoralizing existence.  There were many times I would be determined to quit or control my drinking only to find myself with a drink in my hand once again.

This cycle continued over and over for the last two years of my drinking as each spree got longer and closer together.  I was drinking/using pretty much every day not drawing a sober breath for several years.  By 2010 I was going on 3-8 day binges once I picked up that first drink.  These sprees would go until I could no longer physically consume alcohol.  I was broken, lost, frightened, and filled with despair as I entered yet another detox in April of 2011.

While in detox I was offered the opportunity to go to NOVA for treatment.  This option was presented to me once before, but I refused.  With nothing left, I chose to go to residential treatment at NOVA.

NOVA was the beginning of a life I could never have imagined and would have come short of dreaming.  While in treatment, I was for the first time, around people who I could truly relate with and who could relate with me.  I saw for the first time that I was not a terrible and worthless person.  I saw that I was an alcoholic and a sick person, but there was a solution.  NOVA gave me a full immersion in the recovery life and a safe place where I could finally be myself.  Along with the general atmosphere at NOVA I was given contact with some of the greatest counselors I have personally met before and since, tools and experience to take with me when I left, and a hope that I had never experienced.

Since my stay at NOVA I have been blessed with continuous sobriety.  This has allowed me to go back to NOVA as part of the Alumni Association talking with residents, helping with events, and being a continuing part of something great.  NOVA was the platform which catapulted me into a whole new life, and for that I am eternally grateful.


Alumni Zach L.