Niles: U-Turn to God

My road to alcohol addiction started early, at age 9, when I found the keys to my dad’s liquor cabinet. I tried it all, but really fell in love with his not-so-secret stash of Budweiser.

All through high school, I played sports while drunk over 90% of the time. I eventually went to the University of Houston on a full-ride golf scholarship. I stayed around long enough to earn both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree. I was drunk so much of the time at the University that I don’t remember a whole lot of my time there.

After college, I was offered a job as the Warehouse Manager for one of the largest Burger King franchisees in the country. It was there that I fell in love with the trucking industry and really wanted to learn to drive 18-wheelers. The owner of the company was a retired trucker who offered me a chance to learn to drive.

After a successful 20-year career, everything came to a crashing halt when the doctors informed that I would no longer be able to drive 18-wheelers due to spinal stenosis. I no longer had an excuse to go on the road to sober up. To ease the pain in my back, I drank. I eventually sold all of my equipment and my company and moved from South Carolina to Las Vegas. I figured that a new town meant a new start. My drinking got worse and worse.

One morning after a long night of both drinking and poker, I fell asleep at the wheel of my car in the parking lot of my condo complex. It was then I realized I had a problem.

I remembered being at Faith Farm for a short period in 2004, so I got on a Greyhound bus and headed to the Fort Lauderdale campus. When I walked through the gates for a second time, I knew I had to finish it this time, or I was a dead man. I had totally disconnected from God and had let alcohol become the most important thing in my life.

Nine months later I graduated from the program. During my time in the program, I was afforded the opportunity to put my experience and talent to work. I was allowed to revamp the dispatch system to make it more efficient and easier to use. This was the break I needed to see some small measure of success.

A second measure of success came when the Director gave us an opportunity to form a softball team. Even with a bad back, I tried out and was named the starting pitcher. It was another success for me, and I finally felt like I was on the road back to normalcy.

I stayed on after I graduated until I had an opportunity to follow a new career path – television. This too was a potential trap for me. It involved a person who was actively using drugs and alcohol. When I saw this, I moved on to Allentown, Pennsylvania, and I took a job with the Allentown Rescue Mission Workforce Development Clean team as a sales and marketing representative.

I am truly blessed to have gone through the pain and difficulties during my 19 months at the Farm. It gave me a great foundation to stay sober, and God isn’t done with me yet. Anyone who asks me how and where I got sober, I tell them Faith Farm.

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