Tom grew up in a blue-collar, working class family and can trace alcoholism back to his great-great-grandfather. When he was 14 years old, he discovered alcohol at a family party and immediately liked the way it made him feel, "I no longer felt alone. It gave me confidence, I felt like I was the life of the party." Tom continued to drink heavily in high school and college, but he decided to leave college early to get married, join the workforce, and start a family.
Under immense pressure to provide for his family, Tom experienced something somewhat unusual for those with a substance use disorder- he stopped drinking aside from a few special occasions. This continued for about 10 years, but eventually the wining and dining component of his career led him to pick up right where he left off.
After several treatment attempts, Tom got his life back on track once he committed to making a change and doing the work required to get into recovery. Today, Tom is very involved with the community that supported his recovery and currently serves as a Community Outreach Specialist within our Tennessee recovery team where he identifies, establishes, and fosters relationships with local substance use disorder treatment providers and community recovery resources.
This is part of our National Recovery Month series. Watch more stories of recovery by browsing our blog here.