Tom Cast, age 39, grew up in New Mexico. At the age of 10, his parents got went through a divorce and Tom moved to Maryland with his mom and sister. Tom’s grandmother was dealing with cancer and the move allowed them to take care of her and get a fresh start.
“In high school, I fell in with the wrong crowd and started smoking marijuana,” says Tom. “That eventually led to drinking and that really stuck for me – drinking was always my primary addiction.”
Tom’s Recovery Success Story
After graduating from South Carroll High school, Tom enrolled in a community college and eventually transferred to Towson University where he received a bachelor’s degree in English.
“While I was in college, I got into a very bad car accident in 1993. The accident was due to my drinking and, as a result, my driver’s license was taken away for a year and a half.
“At that time, I was living with my parents in Carroll County. Because everything is so spread out in that area, it was very difficult to find work without a car. I floundered for a while – I didn’t have the means to get back to work and I didn’t have a clear direction of what I wanted to do.
“Eventually I began to work again doing various odd jobs – restaurants, retail, construction, etc. But, the drinking was always there and steadily getting worse. I knew it was hindering me because it was causing a lot of problems. I tried to get sober a couple of times, but it just hadn’t gotten bad enough yet for me to quit completely – it was still something that I turned to.
“In 1999, I enrolled in a 28-day inpatient rehab program for the first time. After leaving the program, I was following the AA program and was sober for over four years!
“However, all the things I was doing to keep sober slowly began to slip away and, left to my own devices, I started drinking.
“It got to the point where I would drink around the clock for days at a time. I would be so ill that I required detox and ended up in emergency rooms for 2 or 3 day detoxes. Of course, I tried to pull myself back together – show up for work, be accountable and reliable but I would start drinking again and it would spiral out of control quickly. I went to a couple more inpatient 28-day programs but wasn’t able to stay sober for long after those.
“2010 was a terrible year for me – my drinking really spiraled out of control. In the course of a year, I was in a hospital detox 3 or 4 times, I enrolled in a 28-day program and also in a 6-week program. Every time I would get out, I would start drinking all over again.
“I had friends who were trying to help me and one of them knew of HUM. When I first arrived, I was apprehensive, but I eventually realized that I was in the right place!
“One of the things that helped me immensely was the 45-day “blackout period” – during the first 45 days of the program, new program members are not allowed to leave HUM’s campus except for scheduled appointments where they are accompanied by an escort.
“This time was where I began learning how to “sit still”. When I was enrolled in 28-day programs, I would get out and think that I was all better! I had no desire for a halfway house and I would return to the same environment that I came from and, left to my own devices, go right back to where I started!
Treatment that Works
“When I came to the Mission, I knew there was a lot that I wanted to try and I knew that I needed to make a lot of major changes. At first there was so much I didn’t know – everything was up in the air! I was unemployed and unemployable. I knew it was getting to a point where a major change had to happen in my life.
“As I progressed through the program, I began to establish my faith – something I’m still working on today. I had never really even been open to the Bible before. The Mission is where I was introduced to the Bible.”
Tom continued: “As I learned more about the Bible, I realized that the AA program that I had been following for several years has many similarities to the basics of the Bible. That was very interesting for me to see and made a lot of sense. The spirituality in the program was very helpful for me because it was something that I had struggled with for quite a while. I’m so thankful that the Mission gave me a solid basis of faith and a good structure.
“One of the exciting things in my life now is that my son was born this past April while I was enrolled in the Spiritual Recovery Program. I’ve never been a father before and I just want to do the best that I can for my son.
“I’m also very glad to be back to work. I help men and women find jobs. It’s something that I hadn’t done before, but being in a position to help people is very significant and meaningful!”
Source: Helping Up Mission