My Recovery: I’m Still Sober–Barely


Well tomorrow will be one week since I left the VA Treatment Center in Brockton, and landed in this Transitional House in another part of the state.  I wish I could say things are just ducky but they are not.

First of all, this is not the rural location I was hoping for; far from it.  The huge house I live in, it’s got 4 3 floor apartments in it, sits squarely on a residential street lined with houses.  No lawns, hardly a tree, just houses sitting on top of each other.  I live on the third floor, in a fairly spacious room at least.  However, it is 100 degrees up there constantly and I wake up sweating profusely on a regular basis.

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Then there’s the new VA.  It is over 100 years old.  The buildings are beat up.  They decided to build the -ugliest outside tunnel system around the interior perimeter, destroying any charm the campus once had.  And there is wifi only if you can find it.  This enrages me.  I have found a few choice locations to stand in, but forget walking and texting, not happening.  They also take smoking outside ANYWHERE OTHER THAN THREE SMOKE SHACKS, very seriously.  I have already been spoken to twice by VA Police.

And no longer am I helping paralyzed veterans go through their days.  No more muffin conversations with my friend Jim.  No more post office runs for Ken.  No more bedside visits with the Sergeant Major.  No, nothing special like that.  Instead, I get to empty a dishwasher in the kitchen.  I have to be there at 6:15 in the morning, ungodly hour.  I am there for 9 hours, but I get two 15 minute breaks and one 30 minute lunch.

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My actual work time is about 3 hours.  The rest of the time I am thinking of various ways to pull the eyes out of my head.  It’s not the actual job that sucks–though it sucks indeed–it’s the down time that is murderous.  And remember, there is no WiFi, so I have to duck out and hide if I want to text my dear friend.  The friend who has been my rock through this entire ordeal.  The friend who, without, I am not sure I would still be sane.

And let’s talk about the town.  Ah yes, the town without an identity.  This is the most fucked up town I have ever seen.  On the one hand you have lots of college students. Then you have the soccer mom types strolling out of Stop N’ Shop with their go green grocery bags.  Then you have a large community of lesbians which make this town their home.  The place has no real identity, it’s hard to explain it to you unless you saw it. You would immediately know what I am talking about here.

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The downtown is a hodgpodge of weird, useless shops.  There are way too many restaurants and not enough pizza and sub shops.  The other side of main street is rundown, with empty lots, deserted buildings and car dealerships.  It’s about as depressing of a place as I have ever known.

And the trees and grass and woods and lakes and ponds?  Nowhere to be seen.  Everyone was like “Oh man, it’s so beautiful out there!”  Really?  Where the fuck did it go?  I am being totally serious when I tell you that I nearly cried as I was being driven to the house from the VA on that first day.  I felt like I did the first day I landed in Basic Training, in the pouring deluge of rain that night, thinking “What the hell did I just do?”

So ya, you might be noticing a severe lack of gratitude and acceptance.  And, to be quite honest, right now I am so overwhelmed at the shitty aspect of ALL of my move, that those have gone by the fucking wayside.  I couldn’t get lucky in just one aspect of this move?  Decent town?  Decent Job?  Decent VA?  Decent neighborhood? Decent environment?  NO NO NO NO NO.  Add to that I left the few friends that I had behind, lost my regular psychiatrist and I lost my dear therapist Molly.  Ya, I’m going through a tough time that kind of took me by surprise.  But I am still sober!

Sorry my first post in awhile is this, but that’s where I am at.  If it wasn’t for me digging really deep, and having the best of friends anyone could ever hope for, I’d be in deep shit.  As it is, I have  mist of depression that is creeping in.  And, if this mist turns into a fog, acceptance and gratitude are going to be the least of my problems.


  1. I just found the computer room which is decent.
  2. The Wifi works in my room.
  3. Dunkin’ Donuts is 5 minutes away.
  4. I am still sober.
  5. I am not truly alone.

Happy now?  You probably are all wondering what the big deal is, I hope that some of you truly get this.  I am so sick of not catching a break.  So sick of nothing going my way.  Of course I am glad I’m not in jail in sober, but is that all I am going to be happy for in life?  Bullshit!  I want a higher quality of life, I deserve it.  I feel misled about what this place was, where it was and now I am stuck here.  Ya, I’ll make the best of it, but that’s not even my damn point.

Oh, and here’s what I get to look at to the right from my fancy new porch:

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Ya, not fucking cool.  And the view directly in front of me?  Ya, that sucks even more:

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  • One thing that I noticed you did not add to your gratuity list is that you are alive. My sister, my nephew, my husband, my best friend, a good friend, and a lover all died because of addiction. Do you have food to eat? Clothes to wear? A roof over your head? Are you healthy?
    I’m not making light of your emotions. You are going through the normal emotional process of sobriety. However, you can control your emotions by controlling your thoughts.
    Hang in there. Something will break.

  • Comment: Last nite i had a ,well i dnt know what it was but every worry,panic,fear,and negitive thought actually dissapeared.i am sober now 14 mnths tho still i didnt deep dwn feel any happyier, all the progress and improvements in my life to me have been easy too do as to me they were a necesity so i just done tho ppl say i have so much srength and willpower.i dnt feel happy or get excited bout shit all. I have been doing a blog last few mnths and my writing amazes pplbut still until last nite nothing felt any differant really. I am not any good with this computer lark and luckly threw facebook some american lady set up a page for me and is a english teacher so without changin my word edits all my writing and keeps my blog page good.but sitting here now scared to think to much about my expereience last nite incase it goes away that feeling were the world just made sense i i try to work it all out i just typed wat happen in short to google and this page came up so who ever you are there you go. I would just like 1 opinion about my experience from sumone….i am 43 yr old male frm a tough background in belfast n.ireland and i actually cried my eyes out at this experience ,i hope u get this email and write back.i will leave you my blog page so u can share on and know me a bit more… sitting here hoping to god that this feeling has not gone….thank you for listening…… my log page is darren graham.

    • Hey brother you’ve got one more month than me. Rest easy, you are not alone my friend

      • Rob i read ur stuff in more detail ter freind ( truthfully stuck in my own head wen writing my stuff) its sorted fekin sounds like its the situation im in everyone in the world saying how good were fuckin doing but what there finding so strong about us is the easy bit its the fuking having ur own place stiking the feet up and relaxin or the going out and the last thought is fuck i gta go bk to that shit hole which dnt get me wrong im grateful for this place and the help i get tho i know i dnt belong here.i cant move on atm as the houseing over here a nightmare……my conclusion to all this is FOR FUCK SAKE UNIVERSE GIVE US A BREAK!!!! 😂😂.peace out bro and good luck x

      • Exactly, breaks are few and far between. But attitude of gratitude my friend, things could be so much worse

      • Spend my life bein grateful rob…spend my life giving also🤔🤔🤔🤔 mayb thats life 🤔🤔🤔

  • For every day you spend in a place that you are not happy, you are a day closer to being in a place where you will be happier.

    You were on a crest, now you are in a trough. You will be back on top of a crest again. Even though your morale is not so good at the moment it will rise again. You will also have more ups and downs, but you will handle it, because you can.

    I think your list of positives will grow, just not today, or maybe not tomorrow. Changes will come and you will cope until the sun shines again.

    • You are the best for commenting such positive thoughts to me Ronnie, I am grateful. And you are right!

      • Thank you Rob.

        When you go somewhere for a predetermined time, you have a certain amount of control over your thoughts, you have a target to aim for. Being somewhere for an unknown period is similar to doing time without a release date. You can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, because the tunnel goes round a long bend and there is no end in sight.

        A situation like that removes the hope and control that you previously had in spite of everything else you had to cope with in the recovery process. This is a new game you are in now where the finishing line has become blurred, so you have to employ new coping skills to enable you get through the change in your situation.

        You have already demonstrated your adeptness at coping with whatever comes your way, so once you regroup your thoughts, I think you will start to get on top of things again. It may not make you happy, but don’t forget you are still winning.

        In my way of thinking, you have always been a safe bet to go the distance with your sobriety; you are dealing with bad feelings at the moment that would normally have made you drink. That makes you a winner Rob.

      • I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your comments, thank you so much! And I’m already evolving those thoughts!

  • I would like this because I am happy to see you, and as always your writing is raw but I can’t like something that sucks so bad for you 🙂 I’m not going to blow the “oh it will get better” smoke up your rearend. It never helped me when people did that to me when I was in my deep dark pit. You are the one that will decide when this is at a level that is acceptable and can be dealt with. I do have all confidence that you will find a happy medium amongst all the manure. Praying for you my friend. Always a pleasure to see you, whether it’s wonderful words or venting, you are the gem 🙂

  • Can you imagine how bad the scene would be if you were drinking? Drinking sure couldn’t make it better!

  • I am glad you are back…and I am so sorry about the situation. I hope you will be able to get out of there as soon as possible. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Yeah, that doesn’t sound like much of a place at all. Sometimes just getting it off your chest – like you did by writing about it – helps to put things in perspective. And hey, Dunkin Donuts isn’t far…reading that actually made me smile. It means you are able to see the positive even in the small stuff and that’s something…I’m not good at that at all, so I admire people who can. Sounds like you have weathered other storms before, you’ll get through this one as well. Stay strong!

    • Thanks for your kind thoughts, ya, I’ve weathered far far worse than this. I felt better as soon as I wrote it

  • Rob, I went through the same experience. I was moved to an apartment complex riddled with drug users, crime and three murders. Where they (the program) testing me? No. It is was it is for now and I have to deal with it. Look at it as a stepping stone. This is what got through me for most days, “It’s transitional housing . . . it’s temporary”. Keep the chin up and time will go by. Soon you’ll be looking for your own place in a couple months from now, a year (it doesn’t matter). It’ll just be another chapter in your life. Perhaps dismal but full of experiences to make you stronger for your life in the future.

    • Thank you so very much and I wish you the best, sounds like you got a raw deal. Hit me up if you ever need someone

  • Yes, I read the entire blog. If you can write THAT WELL in your STATE OF MIND, you’re a survivor, you have talent, and you should definitely aim high and write to publish a book that will be read by many more people than are on WordPress. You have talent bro! And the views from your windows!? Straight out of a Stephen King novel…!! It’s surreal!!

    • Haha, surely you don’t mean my entire blog?! That’s almost 900 posts! Thank you so very much, and the view is fried right?

  • Hang in there Rob. The fact that you haven’t drank or used over all these feelings is a major win from where I stand. My sponsor always tells me (and I’ve found it to be true) that if I put my sobriety first, everything else will fall into place. Not that everything will always be bright and sunny–or sometimes even just decent–but things will work out. Like devotional guy said–if we work it.

    • Mark thank you so much. I’m just dealing with all these disappointments. I have to remember my blessings, I’m letting myself get a bit caught up. Thanks so much!

  • Rob, happy to see a new post from you. I have wondered how you were doing with recovery. You’re right, all those things you mentioned do suck. And I’m glad you were able to find some small positives. None of these things are worth losing your sobriety over. That’s the main thing. Right? You’re starting over. It’s gonna be an uphill climb more times than not at first. It would be nice if it weren’t. And sure, if society understood addiction better than maybe the quality of the resources would be better. But, it beats being hunkered over a porcelain god puking your guts out or waking up feeling like a mack truck ran over you and having no clue of what, when, or who you did. Chances are you woke up today, your head not pounding, your heart not racing, and feeling a little more energetic. When I have days like you describe I have to turn the focus from me to Him. Otherwise, it’s all turns to shit.Peace out brother. Keep on keeping on. It works if you work it. Much love and respect.

    • So grateful for this, so perfectly timed, thank you very much. You are right. And nothing will cause me to drink, I just want something to go my way once in awhile. Thanks so much again!

  • Thank you for what you write. You are a good writer and an insightful man. I’m glad you are still sober and still writing. Thank you.

  • Hey Rob, Shit happens. Here a little inspiration. Just hang in there buddy.
    When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

    When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,When the funds are low and the debts are high,And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,When care is pressing you down a bit-Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

  • You’ll be okay Rob. I believe in you. You have come far even if you cant see it right now.

  • Rob! It’s so good to see you on here! Thanks for the update!
    Ugh, I am so sorry it is so sucky! What an insight into the system, though. My heart goes out to you that you are in such an uninspiring place. But i hope it helps to be reminded of what an inspiration you are! I hope you can remember that when it feels so gloomy. Hang in there. I totally get it…I literally just talked my brother out of drinking for the night because of certain family circumstances…I know you can do it too. Look how far you have come, even if present environment doesn’t reflect that right now.
    So what’s the deal, where exactly are you?

    • Good morning thank you for That! And blessings to you for the love you showed your brother. I don’t want to say exactly because of a particular individual. I’ll be ok, just an off night and I needed to vent. Thank you for your kind comments as always.

      • I understand (about the privacy, I mean). And I am glad you vented…so important to reach out!
        And you are very welcome.
        Good things will come when you least expect them 🙂
        And thank you for your comments, I pray for blessings on you too. <3

  • It seems like you’re in a really tough place right now and I’m sure it’s really hard for you at the moment but nothing in life is permanent and I really hope it gets better for you soon. As hard as it may be try to stay positive.

  • Super sigh 🙁 What massive downgrade. All the more reason to blog and read more if possible though. Hope things turn around for you brother!

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