Keith- December Athlete Of The Month 2016

My name is Keith and I’m an alcoholic and drug addict.  Wow putting that in writing is crazy and humbling.  When you’re a kid from a great family, growing up in a nice town, you never think that it will happen to you, but addiction doesn’t discriminate.

A born salesman, I got really “good” at bargaining with myself and others when it came to my addictions, which allowed me to get deeper and deeper into its vicious grasp.  I would make promises like “I won’t use drugs, I’ll just drink”, or “I will only drink beer, not hard liquor”.  All these bargains got me were failed relationships, multiple hospital visits including days in intensive care, a brief incarceration, lost jobs, and most painful for me…the growing worry and concern from friends and family.

I’m not a selfish guy and have been told I have a good heart, but when it came to my addictions, they became the most important thing in my life and I was so lost and wasn’t sure or didn’t care if I made it to my 35th birthday.

On October 5th 2012 my incredibly brave sisters put an end to the madness and saved me and changed my life forever.  On a visit out to California in the midst of my worst drug and booze bender ever, they brought me out to lunch and I ordered the last drink of my life.  They weren’t going to let me go back to Boston and continue to spiral out of control and shortly after lunch they brought me to rehab.

Although I was in pain and uncomfortable from the withdrawals, I felt safe in a way I hadn’t for years.  After the first week, my adorable nieces came to visit and it was like seeing them for the first time as my senses were no longer numb.  It was an amazing experience like dying on a hospital bed and coming back to life, I felt a renewed appreciation for everything around me.

I had a daunting list of “to do’s” when I got back to Boston which included…move to San Diego, get a job, find a place to live, get a car and a license for the first time in 8 years, etc.  But life was so much easier and more manageable now being sober, that these items were quickly crossed off, and it was time to live again!

The term “Fit Life” is so appropriate as I wasn’t sure how I would fit in after making such a drastic change.  A buddy of mine called me in rehab and told me I wouldn’t believe all the amazing things that would come out of choosing this new life.  Was he ever right!  I found a great job where I have the opportunity to manage and mentor a group of young guys and hopefully help them be successful and make better decisions than I did.  I am able to go back to the rehab I went to and inspire the current group to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I get to be present and watch my nieces grow up, and be goofy with them pretending to be cats, or playing Indians, and not be distracted by wanting a beer, it sounds simple but for me it is everything.  Being sober allowed me to find the most beautiful, supportive, amazing woman who I get to enjoy a wonderful drama free life with.

My Fit Life is about being healthy and happy so that I can be a good boyfriend, brother, son, friend, and person.  It’s also about taking advantage of my second chance and trying to encourage others to pursue healthier lifestyles.  If you are struggling with addiction or even just feel your life would be more complete without drugs and alcohol, I’m begging you to ask for help so that you can live a more fulfilled “Fit Life” that you deserve.  And if you know someone struggling, even if it’s for the tenth time, be brave like my sisters and insist that person gets treatment.  Thanks so much for listening, this wasn’t easy for me and I appreciate it!

The charity I’m supporting is the one my girlfriend works at which I have been able to see first-hand the amazing work they do for people also looking for a “Fresh Start”

About Fresh Start:

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts transforms the lives of disadvantaged children with physical deformities caused by birth, accidents, abuse, or disease through the gift of reconstructive surgery and related healthcare services.