A Court-Ordered Recovery Journey

Support is available for those who struggle with alcohol
Clarence L. Hinman II, Bay City, MI

Social drinking has been a way of life for me since the age of 17. Of course, this progressed to everyday drinking in my 20s and 30s, leading me to quit at age 40 in 2000. In 2002, I moved back to Bay City and boredom lead me astray, again attending the bar on an everyday basis right where I left off when I quit in 2000. I opened the bars and I closed the bars every day. I was out of control.

In 2011, on the night of Jan. 23, I rolled my car into a farmer’s field. I began walking down the road and was picked up by the sheriff’s deputy and arrested for drunk driving.

I was ordered to take 20 weeks of alcohol therapy, 20 weeks of AA or SMART Recovery Program, suspended driver’s license, random breathalyzer, random urine testing, fines and community service.

Court orders have helped encourage me to quit and begin my recovery process. I have been alcohol-free as of Feb. 13. Although I still have urges to drink I have no desire to drink, making it my choice and therefore my lead-in to a successful recovery. I know this is a long and hard road to follow, but I have a support group with SMART  Recovery and those around me that help guide me in the right direction.

I took the appropriate classes and passed my testing and became a certified SMART Recovery facilitator. I began working with Jane Doe with the SMART Recovery program now offered at the Opportunity Center (Bay City, MI).

I continue every day with a struggle I will have to bear for a very long time and hope I can help others as well as I have been helped by those before me. I hope this letter will encourage others to begin their own recovery process and know there are places and people to help guide them, too.

SMART Recovery is for anyone interested, not just those who are court-ordered. The program offers many areas of aid. Go online for more info: smartrecovery.org.

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