When Kyle (above center) reached out to me for the first time, he started with, “I’m not sure if this is allowed.” Ha!
I’ve always focused on helping women, but Kyle boldly stepped past that ‘barrier’ to discuss recovery and faith. My two favorite topics. We had a great conversation, and he’s the first guy I’ve ever invited on the She Surrenders podcast!
Kyle’s story is similar to mine in that it includes trauma and coping with alcohol, but that’s about where the similarity ends, which is why I think you need to hear his story.
Let’s take it from the moment he found himself in jail for 3 weeks. He had been charged with his second DUI, and his license was suspended. He had a choice: either go through probation (and lose his license for a year) or choose sobriety court (and possibly drive in 60 days). You guessed it; he chose sobriety court.
Sobriety court helps people charged with a DUI identify a program for recovery. They are assigned a judge, a lawyer, and a case worker, and given access to counseling. But Kyle didn’t think he needed the help. I mean, he wasn’t an alcoholic (denial is real, folks).
He went back to drinking the next day.
This could have been a good wake-up call. No judgment here – I probably had like 17 (low balling that number) wake-up calls that I did not answer. Come to think of it, his first DUI could have been a wake-up call, too.
That was 7 years earlier.
That day, Kyle had been driving with a blood-alcohol level of .28. For those of you who are not familiar, anything over .08 would be considered a DUI. This also means he probably had at least 9 drinks that day.
When the police stopped him, he had been driving on the wrong side of the highway!
Surprisingly, he got off with no points, no penalties, no injuries, and he didn’t have to live with the crushing guilt of having caused someone else’s death. Talk about grace!!! But, sadly, with no consequences came no lessons learned, either. He just kept on drinking.
Looking back, he realized that he chose to start drinking when his father passed away. At the time, Kyle was 21 years old, and the trauma was too much for him to bear alone. Rather than go to counseling, he turned to alcohol.
After the 2nd DUI, Kyle spent a few months going through the motions but wasn’t really committed to sobriety. Despite this, he managed to stay sober for 2 months. And it was “driving him crazy.”
He finally decided that he needed help. He called his counselor and said,
I’m willing to do whatever it takes to recover.
I love this. It’s the realization that doing things on your terms hasn’t worked. It’s the willingness to be vulnerable, to let go of the secrets and expose the lies. It’s a rite of passage for any alcoholic. And it’s the start of freedom.
After going to a few Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and starting counseling, another pivotal event happened in Kyle’s life. God personally assigned him a mentor. The ‘coincidences’ he shared on the podcast are nothing short of amazing.
Note that Kyle was now racking up the recovery tools: counseling, a mentor, AA, and finally She Surrenders! He was stacking the odds in his favor for sobriety with a variety of resources.
A Life-Changing Moment
AA Step 5 tells alcoholics to take inventory of their life and why they are the way they are. No more pointing fingers. No more victim mode. You own your choices.
I love how Kyle took every step very seriously. Step 5 was no different. He had a 1-hour conversation with God; it was an encounter that marked him.
In that hour, he received a fresh perspective, a new hope, and grace to move forward. I think it was the beginning of a new and very real friendship between Kyle and God.
By now, the momentum was unstoppable. He was suddenly relentless in his pursuit of sobriety. He realized that this willing spirit had come from God. The coincidences with his mentor, the grace to be alive (despite the drunk driving), the easy access to resources and support, the encounter with God. These were all undeniable miracles.
Today, Kyle is full of hope and life! On the podcast, he shared some very specific advice for men in his position. He now has a vision for his life, and I can’t wait to see it unfold. I’d love for you to hear it in his own words on the podcast. His fire is contagious!