Carla Vista Sober Living: Zach J. Story

Today 24-year-old Zach works full-time as a technician for a Phoenix-area telecommunication giant, and he is able to pay his bills comfortably; but his life wasn’t always this organized or productive. At 12-year-old he took his first sip of alcohol and so began an 11-year love affair with this powerful mind-altering opiate.

“From the time I was 12-years-old I wondered and plotted how I could get a drink and not get into trouble,” he said. “Alcohol became my first love… and I soon realized that I couldn’t go a day without consuming enough to get drunk.”

Within a very short period of time trouble mounted for Zach who amassed ten alcohol-related charges including six minor consumption charges. “My mom and the people who were very close to me began to keep their distance,” he said. “I couldn’t wait to turn 21… and when I did I quickly learned that the consequences for drinking were even more severe. I got my first DUI and lost my car. I was trapped in the midst of my disease.”

At 22 years old Zach’s plea for help was answered by his parents who enrolled him in treatment at The River Source Rehab Center in Casa Grande, AZ. where he stayed for 30 days. “I really didn’t do anything to help my alcohol addiction while at The River Source,” Zach said. “I was just there to sober up and get strong enough to go back out once I got out of there.”

After treatment, Zach checked into Carla Vista Sober Living and also enrolled in an eight-week Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). Not ready and willing to concede to his disease, Zach said did this to appease his loved ones. Shortly after completing the IOP, he checked out of Carla Vista with five months of sobriety and moved into an apartment with a friend. He promptly relapsed. Two months of drinking and consuming any drug he could get his hands on led to an eviction, the repossession of his car, and the loss of his job. After losing everything, his only choice was moved back to his parents’ home.

“I convinced my mom that I was sober and she took me into her home; after one week she realized that I had lied… so instead of hanging around the house I took my last paycheck… went to California for a couple of days and spent everything I had on alcohol and drugs,” Zach said. Realizing what he had done, Zach got real with himself and surrendered to the grip of his disease. His moment of clarity had arrived.

“I went back to Arizona and immediately checked into detox at The River Source for five days,” he said. “I will never forget that feeling of hopelessness and despair as I waited for The River Source transportation unit to pick me up. That was when I promised myself that I was done with this horrible lifestyle. After detox, I returned to Carla Vista Sober Living and decided to get serious with my recovery.”

For the next ten months Zach spent time in Carla Vista learning how to live a happier and healthier life, and contributing productively to his immediate environment. His willingness to be a leader and a contributor to his sober living house led him to take on more responsibility and hold others accountability for keeping the house in order.

“Re-entering Carla Vista was the biggest thing I could have done for myself and my recovery,” Zach said. “I am grateful for my time there and the fact that I am sober today and living a much better life than I had lived in the past.”

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