— Google

How my recovery community helps keep me sober

My journey to sobriety 

Before coming to Google, I worked as a lawyer. But my life wasn’t what you’d imagine for a young attorney building his career. I had a serious alcohol and drug problem that started in high school and continued into my early 30s. 

My addiction made me unreliable to my family, friends and employers. This situation played out countless times. At work, my manager would ask me, “What’s wrong? What can I do to help?” I once caused a scene on a business trip and had to go to the hospital for stitches which left me feeling shame and despair. My employer gave me an ultimatum: get help or be let go. 

Still, I cycled in and out of rehab and resumed alcohol use multiple times. Eventually, my family had an intervention, and I entered rehab once again. I felt like such a loser being back in the same place as before, feeling like I had learned nothing. In retrospect, I know that setbacks are often a part of recovery. It’s not a moral failing to have to work at sobriety before it sticks. I went back to drinking alcohol once more before I achieved continuous sobriety.

I’ve now been sober since I was 33 years old — a little over 10 years ago.  For me, finding a community to support my recovery — from my recovery community and its regular meetings to family and friends and my coworkers at Google — made all the difference.  

Recovering together: Getting sober for good

There’s a safety and an openness at Google that makes it easy for me to get help without feeling bad about it. When I’m around coworkers who are drinking, I’ll let them know why I don’t. After I assuage my coworkers’ concerns about whether their drinking in front of me might upset me (it doesn’t), they’re always quick to offer a non-alcoholic beverage. I remember when my team at Google had an offsite where drinks were served, a teammate quickly pointed my wife and me to the plentiful selection of non-alcoholic drinks.

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