Life-gripping addictions knocked them down, but they’re back on their feet again

Published 11:12 am Thursday, September 5, 2019

This time, he spent a week in detox. He found himself in a facility with some people who suffered serious mental health issues. The experience shook him up, so he got out his Alcoholics Anonymous books to pass the time and take his mind off his surroundings.

“There, I figured out that I couldn’t do it my way and make sobriety work,” Peters said. “I didn’t do what I was supposed to do the first time. I wasn’t honest about everything.”

A path into the future

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These days, he’s honest about his past and optimistic about the future. He spends time with his sons, who are 7 and 6. He works at Grit. He got engaged to a co-worker who is also in recovery and studying nursing. They married June 22, his 1,301st sober day.

“We go to meetings together,” Peters said. “We share a lot of very similar interests. It’s not just that we both have had admittedly checkered pasts. I don’t want to say that. We just fit together. It’s a great feeling.”

He also fits right into the CRC’s community of those in recovery and found solace in knowing he is not alone. This keeps him going, along with the memory of the consequences of taking that first drink.

At Grit, he sometimes closes the restaurant alone. He walks alone past the fully stocked bar, and he isn’t tempted to take a sip there, even though it’s unlikely anyone would know. He knows he could only hide it for so long before the descent into alcoholism would start.

He doesn’t want to throw away the future he’s carved out for himself, thanks to the CRC, and the chance to earn a degree from the university.

“I’m really grateful for all the opportunities Ole Miss has given me,” Peters said. “It’s amazing to think about what I had been doing and to realize that I’m still around.”

Spending ‘every dollar on Xanax’

Peeler was an Ole Miss freshman who began every day at 10 a.m. by drinking, taking Xanax bars and smoking marijuana.

“I was spending every dollar I could find on Xanax and drinking from 10 a.m. until I passed out, and I would wake back up and start drinking again until I passed out again,” Peeler said.