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Member Stories – Richard

I had just turned 33, and there I was in a hospital bed, wondering why God didn’t let me complete my suicide attempt. My best friend had died recently by drowning; I was now divorced and work was becoming more demanding. I thought now was my turn to die. What had happened was my first episode of schizophrenia. Even with medication I continued bouncing in and out of mental institutions over the next five years. I tried to do what the doctors and counselors were telling me, and I even tried moving from a large city to a small town, but it happened again. This time there were demons everywhere, even in my house. My distorted thinking told me to burn it down. So I did. This time I was really scared. What was happening? What is Reality? And I was on my medication.

So after being in jail for 4 months, I had time to think. It was so easy. It was right in front of my face the whole time: alcohol. Drinking was there all my life and even though I didn’t consider myself a heavy drinker, I didn’t know how to stop or even if I could. But I knew I needed and wanted a better way to live. In jail, I was introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous and Schizophrenics Anonymous, and when I got out I continued to attend. By working the suggested steps and having a higher power of my understanding, I am now leading a happy and free life. I thank God for putting these programs and people in my life. I am looking forward to the future.