Under the impression it would make him cool and popular, Jacob started drinking alcohol at age 14. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out…but the two of them did develop a cozy relationship and spent many years together — including through a marriage, children and a couple careers.
A former teacher, Jacob describes his 20 years before age 40 as an “alcoholic-in-training.” By 40 he’d graduated — with honors — as a certificated full-blown alcoholic!
At that point, drinking was no longer a party. It had become a daily chore — a job, which he really didn’t enjoy, but had to be finished every day.
Jacob worked until alcohol wouldn’t let him — in July 2012. By then, he’d drink until he passed out…and be angry he was still alive in the morning.
Jacob had been to recovery programs…and a few psych wards. He also had active spurts in Alcoholics Anonymous. In fact, in October 2014, when he arrive for our 12-month residential Spiritual Recovery Program at Helping Up Mission, he was already a few months sober.
Jacob remembers how he felt upon entering our front door. What he calls “the collective aura of HUM” immediately helped him feel at home…and the knot in the back of his neck slowly started to loosen.
On Saturday, at age 60, Jacob celebrated 2 years clean. He said it’s the longest time ever — since he started drinking at 14.
Now a HUM grad and still living in graduate transitional housing on our campus, Jacob’s also enrolled to be a 60-year old college freshman — studying addiction counseling.
He’s got something new he wants to pass on to others who might appreciate it.
Jacob and me — guess which one of these old guys has only been clean for 2 years!
Sometimes the new guys at HUM get us confused.
One Day at a Time,
Pastor Gary Byers