Voices for Recovery
Donald Greengrass Sr
I have escaped death three times in my life, and I know if it wasn’t for recovery, I might not be here today. I have been in recovery for 14 years, after nearly a 40-year battle with alcohol and drugs, either my own a family member’s.
Growing up, my parents’ drinking progressed to the point that it became more important than my siblings and me. I was 4-years-old the first time I turned to alcohol, and again at 5-years-old. In middle school, while other kids went to the movies and roller skating, I got drunk at parties with older friends. I tried marijuana for the first time the summer before my sophomore year of high school, the path that led to my years of addiction.
I joined the Marine Corps after my first visit to a halfway house, and during my 3-year career, I went through alcohol treatment and received an honorable discharge. I was unable to hold a job, and any stipends I did earn, I used to support my addiction. At the age of 30, a doctor told me that if I didn’t receive treatment, I would end up in the hospital, or worse.
It was my third near-death experience and it made me realize I needed treatment. I received help from a state vocational rehabilitation program and graduated from the University of La Crosse. Because of my recovery, today I now enjoy spending time with my wife and kids, golfing, jogging, and working as a certified alcohol drug counselor.