Addiction is a serious matter that many in our community are facing, have faced or are connected to in some way
By age twenty two Trevor Stryker had served two tours in Iraq and had recently gotten out of the military.
But returning home wasn't east, undiagnosed PTSD and a slight brain injury caused his already heavy drinking to skyrocket.
"I didn't have purpose to be alive anymore and drinking helped me escape from all of that," said Stryker.
Before he knew it two dui charges and a final incident of accidentally entering a stranger's home were the last straw for Trevor.
He said, "You think most people get out of the military and they have a lot to be prideful of. And I felt like I was a disgrace. I felt that I had let a lot of people down, defiantly not who I wanted to be."
Under the guidance of his lawyer Trevor sot treatment and entered a thirty day impatient program at the VA in Grand Island. But given everything Trevor had his doubts on recovery.
"I didn't plan on staying sober when I went to treatment and I don't think very many people expected me to stay sober. My attitude was poor," he explained.
Relapse is extremely common throughout the recovery process
and many relapse multiple times before staying sober.
Some never do and struggle with addiction for a lifetime.
But thanks to the guidance of others in AA Trevor continued to work the twelve step, continued to attend meetings, total changed up his lifestyle and after six and half years has not had a single relapse.
"It's not easy. I don't think anything in life is easy. You have to work at it to get anything that you want. And recovery is definitely a lot of work. And I think that's why a lot of people relapse. They get to a point where they're done working," said Trevor.
During his recovery process another big element came into play: his now wife Lindsay and her two children.
Trevor became not only accountable for himself but for others now as well, which he says has become his ultimate support.
"Alcoholics anonymous is not an I program, it's a we program. Together by working with your sponsors and utilizing your support network they help you stay sober."
Trevor now works for the VA assisting homeless veterans to become employed and to maintain that stability.
He and his wife are expecting their fourth child and he continues to attend AA meetings and work the twelve step program.