Addiction doesn’t care who you are or what you’re dealing with. It just takes and takes until there’s nothing left. Alcoholism had all but snuffed out Kenny D.’s desire to live, but after a decade of heavy drinking, he finally decided to change.
“I discovered at one point that I could not control the amount I drank once I had taken the first drink. I could not drink without getting drunk,” the 37-year-old dad told Bored Panda. “Sometimes I was just indifferent to whether I lived or died. I just wanted it to be over and I didn’t care how.” But at his lowest, Kenny reached deep inside himself and found an untapped strength.
He began attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings and received his first sobriety coin 24 hours after giving up booze for good. He snapped a selfie, marking the beginning of his journey to a better life.
“I took a picture of myself the day I got my first sobriety coin, 24 hours sober. I felt so ill and I looked so bad, I wanted to remember it so I wouldn’t forget,” Kenny explained.
By the time he received his 30-day coin, Kenny already saw an incredible difference — and it wasn’t just physical.
Seeing how far he’d come felt so good that he continued documenting the progression of his sobriety. With every new coin came a new photo…
…and a bigger smile. Kenny adopted healthier habits as well. He began eating better and exercising regularly. And he discovered his love for reading and painting.
Before he knew it, Kenny had six months of sobriety under his belt. It wasn’t easy, especially during tough times, but he learned to ask for help from his sponsor or other recovering alcoholics instead of turning to the bottle.
When Kenny reached the first anniversary of his sobriety, he decided it was time to share his victory with the world. He uploaded his photos to Reddit, where strangers cheered him on.
“The post was flooded with comments from people asking me about alcoholism and how I stopped drinking. Asking how they can stop or how to help their own friends or family stop. And a ton of good positive kudos and congrats for my transformation.”
Kenny’s happiness kept radiating more and more with each following milestone.
Thanks to all the hard work he’d put into the 12-step recovery program, Kenny finally faced his life head-on and learned how to cope. These days, he keeps himself honest by sticking to a “set of spiritual principles.”
“From morning to night, I run all of my decisions through a sort of spiritual filter. I do my best to not be resentful or spiteful or angry, though I am human and I have a tendency to forget sometimes,” he explained.
On November 2, Kenny celebrated his third year of sobriety. He’s lost 75 pounds, become the father he’s always wanted to be and gained a new appreciation for being alive.
“I had no idea that I would get a whole new life that was full of more joy, happiness, and freedom than I could have possibly imagined.”
Share this story as a reminder that there’s always hope, and that it’s never too late to change. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, call the National Drug Helpline at 1-844-289-0879. Help is ready and waiting.
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