My parents divorced when I was twelve and abandoned me. I quickly looked for something to numb the pain. I started hanging out with older kids that accepted me and found they knew where to get alcohol. Alcohol made me forget about my parents splitting up. I started drinking often by age thirteen. By age sixteen, I was using cocaine and drinking. By the age of eighteen, I was living in a crack house selling drugs to support my own habit.
At twenty-two years old, I was hooked on cocaine and alcohol. I wanted help, but I did not know how to get it. I kept doing what I knew best and that was to get drunk and high. After a long night at the clubs with my friends, I was dropped off at home in a black out and ended up on a hill that surrounded my apartment complex. I rolled to the bottom, flopping off a retaining wall and smashing my head on the pavement. I was rushed to the hospital and had a right frontal craniotomy. After the surgery I stayed in a comatose state for several weeks.
When I woke up from the coma, I was taught how to eat again. Then, I was placed in a nursing home to live out the rest of my days confined to a wheelchair. I could not control my emotions and was angry all the time. I found it hard to accept what I did to myself and did not know how to express my feelings.
I discovered moving forward, being productive, and finding the positive in each day was the only way to make my circumstances better. With determination, hard work, and focus, I left the nursing home, my wheelchair for a walker, and eventually was walking with a cane. After three years of therapy I was walking with no assistive device.
In the sixteen years since my accident I have been able to walk, talk, and drive again. I went to college and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in Counseling and Psychology. I retrained my brain to find positive in each day and keep moving forward.
I have dedicated my life to helping others who have experienced trauma, injury or addiction. I am a Behavior Therapist, and Professional Certified Coach that specializes in helping individuals overcome addiction and move beyond injury and trauma. I now have over sixteen years clean and sober! My date of becoming clean and sober is 8/26/1998.
If this drunk and junkie can turn things around, you can too! Thanks for reading!
Rick Von Linsowe, MS, CPC