Active Road to Recovery / by Alison Capra

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My older brother has always been one of my most favorite people on the planet. His big heart, passion for life and love for people make him exceptional. He's made a lot of bad decisions in his life, but he makes great ones every single day. After a decade of drug and alcohol abuse I am extremely happy to say that he is 10 years sober today. I wanted to share with you his amazing story. If you or a loved one is struggling with getting sober, please share his story with them. It's amazing.  -Ali

Active Road to Recovery By: Neil Capra

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Every year I tell my story. I had my last drink at strip club in Chicago. (Pole Katz) Actually tonight at midnight marks the anniversary. This year is a little bit more of milestone because today makes 10 years since I had my last drink. That’s right an entire decade with not a drop of alcohol.

The first few years I spent learning to live life sober. Even driving was a task. I remember driving from Grandview, MO to the KCI airport was at least a six pack. Being intimate with a women was almost like I was a virgin again because I hadn’t done it sober very often in my life. Emotions were brand new. I didn’t like feeling sad or angry or anxious. Any time I felt that before I drank to feel happy only. I went to AA to ask for answers on how to deal with emotions that weren’t happy because I just didn’t understand that it could be done successfully. I didn’t understand that you could navigate and control negative thoughts and emotions. I also didn’t understand that I wasn’t the only one in the world that had problems. I thought I was special.

In AA I sat and listened and quickly found out that me having 2 children that I had to pay child support for wasn’t really a problem. The first woman I spoke to had been raped by her father, brother, and uncle as long as she could remember until she was old enough to run off. If anyone had a reason to drink it was her. She told me how she forgave them and was living a normal healthy life with her husband and kids. She said she didn’t have to relive her past she learned how to think about how great life is and how many things there are to be thankful for. The next woman had served 12 years in prison after she killed two of her kids in an auto crash while driving drunk. She didn’t deny responsibility but she learned how to think positive and continue to move forward in life. I couldn’t believe these people were doing that. 2 things they told me.

1.) Serve something outside yourself.

I wasn’t the guy to go stand at a soup kitchen. A counselor told me that I should go coach. So I began by coaching little league wrestling. Soon it lead to a paying positions as a high school wrestling coach. Pretty soon I didn’t have time to sit and think about my pain because I was busy thinking of a way to find a way to make these boys life I was coaching better. I have spent a decade now coaching and met so many young men that I have been able to speak into their life.

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2.) I was told to take control of your thoughts.

It says in the Bible to take every thought captive to the obedient of Christ. They didn’t say that verse in AA but the principle applies. We all have opportunity to dwell on the negative. We all have lost a job. Lost a relationship. Boyfriend/girlfriend. Husband wife. We have lost loved ones. The list goes on of things that cause us pain. One of my biggest fears was irrational fear of death. I thought I deserved it for all the bad things I had done to hurt people ect. I would get so worked up with fear I would have to drink so I didn’t throw up. I finally started to get a hold of my thoughts. I started training myself to only stay positive. Everytime I feared death I would say no. I am going to live to be 100. I am going to be physically and emotionally healthy everyday of my life. I wasn’t making a deal with God and I wasn’t begging God. I was persueding my heart of my new reality. Sometimes I said it 1000 times a day. I didn’t feel that way still but soon it became 300 times day and soon 10. Eventually the fear of dying never crossed my mine. Then I had to do the same thing in finances. Worrying about paying the bills. No God wants me to prosper. I will prosper.

If someone asks me how I am doing now, I say "Damn near perfect." Do I feel that way? No. Sometimes I feel like it’s a struggle but I refuse to affect those struggles in my thought life. I still have negative thoughts but 10 year removed from alcohol and that lifestyle and the struggles are far less and way different. Life is so good even when things feel tough I have so much to be thankful for. I have owned my own business now for 7 years.

I am so much healthier now at 37 years old than I was even at 24 and 25. I wake up most mornings and do jiu jitsu. I still compete at it. I quit playing golf and said I will go back to that when my jiu jitsu and wrestling career are over. I ride a motorcycle. I paint, draw, tattoo and I am living my dreams. Anyway the point is because of these decisions I have don’t have a perfect life but I really feel like it most days even when it hurts.

I don’t go to AA often anymore because I have made my resolve that I will not and am not tempted to drink or so drugs again. I will however go to a meeting if anyone if you want to be done with that life. I will go to support you. Also if any of you want to go to church I go and I will go sit beside you and not judge. If you don’t have a drinking problem but just are depressed or anxious I will hang with you also. If you feel embarrassed to comment send me a private message. I say this just to give hope to anyone struggling. You don’t have to be perfect but you can find a place where there is help and life can be so much fun.