What was life like growing up?

Normal childhood. I had my mom and my stepdad. My stepdad took the role of father. I have a good mom. Nothing on their part that really brought me into drugs or alcohol.

Did any members of your family have a problem with addiction?

My real dad committed suicide. I was told that he abused alcohol and drugs. I tried to kill myself when I was 17. He committed suicide when he was 18. The same kind of road even though he didn't raise me.

What led you to The Wheelhouse?

My uncle lives in Wichita Falls and in that town there was this guy who came through The Wheelhouse who gave my uncle his number and said to have me call him. I called this man Eddie and he said …”well if you want to do something different grab some clothes and go to this address.”

What was life like before you got to The Wheelhouse?

I could not stop drinking. Drinking to oblivion. One time I thought I was having a heart attack. I was scared. I couldn't stand up. My mom asked me if I wanted to get some help. It was getting so bad so fast. My mom tried to let me stay at her house but I would drink and have to leave.

What was the biggest challenge you were facing before you got to The Wheelhouse?

I was homeless, emergency rooms, homeless and so on. Not being able to quit drinking. I was trying to find a way to cope with alcohol and without it and I just could not figure out how.

What did you do to try to solve this Challenge on your own?

I would say that I wasn't doing anything. My mom was forcing me to go to meetings. I was trying to manipulate myself into being sober. I’d be sober for maybe a week and I would drink again.

What is a problem that the Wheelhouse has solved for you?

I've found here the desire to stay sober. It wasn't there before. Being here I got an honest desire to stay sober. I just want to be able to cope with life how it is. I learned how to cope with life here.

Is there a particular moment or memory that stands out to you, going thru The Wheelhouse?

I was sitting in the first five chairs, a man named Brian H. was sitting behind me and he shared about the hurt, the pain, and the sadness of everything that we go thru when we are in addiction and I started crying and I couldn't stop. I was scared. I had never felt this before. And then, for some reason, I felt like this is where I’m supposed to be, right now.

What has your life been like since first coming to The Wheelhouse?

This has been a very challenging year. I've had thoughts of wanting to drink and not wanting to and then not doing it and I come out on the other side of that. Which is a spiritual experience. My faith is that God is allowing me to stay sober. I can't do it by myself

What is your outlook for the future?

Get my GED. Possibly join the military. I have so many opportunities. I haven't missed a day in over a year at work. God's going to show me opportunities as long as I continue to do what I’m supposed to do.

How has The Wheelhouse changed your life?

When I wake up in the morning I make my bed. The order of my life is just so much better. Actually having a life today is a miracle in itself.

What has surprised you the most about the Wheelhouse?

That coming back to the Wheelhouse after you leave will help me stay sober.

What have you learned about yourself from your experience with The Wheelhouse?

I can't stay sober by myself. I need help. But it is possible with Alcoholics Anonymous, The Wheelhouse and God. God is everything or God is nothing.

I can do this if I just ask for help.

Duane Young