First and formost, I want to thank my creator for my recovery today. On Aug. 12 of 2018, I will have 6 years clean, Wow! What an achievement for me. I started using alcohol and drugs when I was 9 years old. Since that age it has always been part of my life. When I was 8 years old, I was sexually and physically abused. When I said something about the abuse to my parents, all that was done about that was taking me out of one situation of abuse and putting me into another. I overheard a conversation concerning whether I was telling the truth, so from that day on, I lost trust and kept everything to myself, never spoke a word about anything I was feeling or secrets I had. I believe being sexually abused by my female cousin shaped a lot of who I am today, then being physically abused by a male family member formed a belief that it’s ok to let others walk all over me, so that’s how I lived my life for years. I never spoke about things I have gone through. It was easier to use and hide then to trust. This caused so much depression, I would not want anyone to ever go through. I used and hid for 40 years, what a big mess my life was. In the end, I caught some serious felonies that landed me in prison at 31 years old. The one good thing about coming to prison is my Recovery. And also, I am comfortable in my own skin, I am finally able to stand myself when I look into the mirror. As far as A.A. goes, in my life, it has worked for me, although I am still in my first step of honesty faith and hope, I can finally talk about what happened to me, and I finally have faith in my creator and myself. My hope for change has come true because of the steps I take in my program. I have lost so much since I have been incarcerated, but I have gained just as much, if not more. If anyone has a similar story like mine, who’s in addiction, I plead with you to be courageous and take that step of bravery. Speak about things that make you feel vulnerable or embarrassed, or ashamed. I see it like this, if I can do it, break down my steel wall to release the things that have weighed me down, then you can do it. I believe in you, for You. One thing I also want you to know about me is, I believe things happen for me, not to me. So now I make the most of each day the creator has given to me, for me, and I love it. A.A. works for me, I have taken a long time on my first step, but I work the program for me, and I am changing every day. I know one thing for sure, I’m clean today, because I take one step at a time. Make each day count. Love you all. -Sincerly, Scotty T.