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Wolfgang’s Story

Overcoming a 40-year addiction takes support

“Staying connected to support,” says Wolfgang, “is what I need so I can stand on a firm foundation for recovery.” After 40 years of struggling with addiction, Wolfgang is in recovery and “getting better.”

Wolfgang was born in Germany. He was in foster care until age 8 before being reunited with his mom. His mom married an American and they moved to the U.S. when he was ten.

“I was behind in school, with learning the language and all. I really didn’t catch up until ninth grade,” he shared. “The bullying was tough. Growing up was hard.”

He couldn’t wait to get out. He couldn’t wait until he was 18 to drink.

“It’s amazing that I’m doing this! It’s a miracle.”

After he left home, he would drink in the morning, go to work, and drink when he got home. Each day was the same. He managed to hold down his jobs for awhile. At one point he struggled with suicidal thoughts and spent a couple days in the hospital.

At the recommendation of some friends, he tried treatment for the first time years ago. Treatment would work for a little while. But, left on his own, he’d start up again. This described his life for 40 years.

“That’s a long time to be drinking,” shared Wolfgang, now age 63. “When you go back out there, lots of things can trigger you.”

“Realizing that I needed help was the most important step,” said Wolfgang.

“The staff at Avivo are excellent. The after-care services are really good and being able to live in transitional housing with a supportive community is really helpful,” he added.

“Learning to live sober… it’s a completely different lifestyle,” shared Wolfgang. “I still struggle with depression or anxiety, but I am getting better.”

Wolfgang is working on a finding permanent supportive living space. He participates in Avivo’s after-care services and support groups a couple times a week.

“It’s amazing that I’m doing this! It’s a miracle.”