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Voices for Recovery

Mike Barry (05/18/2012)

I loved to party when I was in school in the late 60s. I was also responsible, made good grades, and began a radio and television career, becoming a highly respected television news anchorman and producer. I worked in Nashville, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.

Little did I know that alcoholism was taking control of my life by my early 20s. I started drinking my way through jobs, moving from city to city to start over. I ran away from my problems mentally, morally, and physically. I burned so many bridges that I eventually I found myself living in a homeless shelter with nothing but the clothes on my back.

On October 7, 1994, I barricaded myself in my apartment for over a week and decided to drink myself to death. I ran out of hope. I was at a turning point in my life, although I didn't know it.

My family, friends, minister, and psychiatrist had all tried to help me, but I wouldn't let them. But one moment of clarity led me to ask God just one more time for help. No bargaining, no promises, just surrender. It was truly a spiritual experience.

Today, I’m a person in long-term recovery, which means I haven’t had a drink in more than 17 years. I am happy, and life is good. I have so much less materially, but I have so much more internally. I am happily married, have my own business, my children are speaking to me, and I have a beautiful granddaughter who has never seen me drunk.

Each day I continue to work hard on my recovery and love every minute of it. I speak about my experience wherever I can. I share my strength and hope so that others will find inspiration that there is a solution. While sometimes this process helps me more than others, it also reminds me daily of what things were like and who I was, but more importantly, who I’ve become.

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