Jon’s Miraculous Moment of Prayer Breaks Years of Alcoholism

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It was several decades ago while sitting around a campfire as a teenager when Jon realized what alcohol could do for him. After a few beers, he could become someone else — someone funny, good with girls, charming, self-confident — the type of person he had always wanted to be.

“I remember being out camping with some friends and girls and we were having beers and sitting around a campfire,” Jon said. “I was flirting with the girls and they were flirting with me and I became the person that I always wanted to be. I was shy and self-conscious and had low esteem when not drinking back then. For the 20 years that I drank after I chased after that experience from that night. That’s what drinking did for me.”

Jon explained that he would drink until he was black-out drunk, but that no one could see how drunk he actually was — even his own wife didn’t know when he was drunk because of his ability to carry on a conversation like normal.

“I was one of those people who could be blacked-out drunk and have a conversation with you and you would have no idea. I drank during the first eight years of my marriage and my wife had no idea that I was blacked-out drunk most of the time,” Jon said.

However, in 1999, after nearly 20 years of drinking, things started to unravel. He began drinking every day in the morning, and for the last month of the year, he failed to report to work.

“I worked within the architectural design community and my drinking really affected my life at this point,” Jon said. “They would have fired me if I would have shown up to work to allow them to fire me, but I drank in my basement the entire last month of that year. It was then that I realized I needed help and entered a drug and alcohol rehab facility in Columbus where I spent five days detoxing.”

But then something amazing happened.

“I got on my knees at that facility and asked God to please help me and I heard him say to me, ‘All you had to do was ask.’ These are the words I actually heard on that day in that room. And from then on my drive to drink was lifted from me. I believe that God had a direct hand in my recovery,” Jon shared.

He is grateful that before that grace-filled moment he had already had faith in God. When he got married, he converted to Catholicism and attended Mass regularly with his wife despite being a practicing alcoholic.

“I was very blessed with having a relationship with God and I see a lot of guys in recovery now that don’t have one,” Jon shared. “And if you don’t have one then finding recovery is much more difficult. The truth is that I was blessed with having a relationship with God and it was an easy choice to make because I was tired of living a life of a drunk.”

After detoxing, he began attending 12-step meetings regularly. In fact, the group he attended met seven days a week at 6:15 am in the morning, and he didn’t miss a single session for an entire year and a half. He hasn’t had a drink since he entered that detox facility, which was almost 20 years ago.

While he remains grateful to the 12-step community, he has noticed that groups are more and more hesitant to talk about God.

“I started to struggle with how some recovery programs are becoming more separated from God,” Jon said. “So I started seeking out a place where I could feel comfortable talking about being a Christian and a Catholic and that is how I found Scott from Catholic in Recovery.”

Jon and his wife helped start and now lead a Catholic in Recovery group in Columbus.

“I feel that God called my wife and me to really bring this program to Columbus, Ohio. And it is an excellent recovery program, whether you are Catholic or not. It is awesome to have a program that uses the sacraments,” Jon said. “It is also great to be able to feel comfortable talking openly about the sacraments and my faith and to find so many people with such a strong faith at both the leadership meetings on Monday and with the people attending our meetings here in Columbus. We are so grateful to have a place to feel safe in our recovery and the Catholic faith.”

Jon hopes that others will give Catholic in Recovery a try, especially those who have negative feelings toward Catholicism.

“When we were practicing our addiction we had a tendency not to be sensitive to other people and to hurt others,” Jon said. “And so I would ask them to give the church a chance just like they needed others to give them a chance because of their addiction. I think they would be pleasantly surprised with what they see today.”

Ultimately, Jon has found tremendous healing from the Church’s sacraments — especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation — and can’t say enough about blending recovery with the sacramental life of the church, which is exactly what Catholic in Recovery seeks to do.

“When I started looking for a program, I found a few Christian-based programs but none of them spoke to me as a Catholic like Catholic in Recovery did. It’s a really great program and it’s really hard to walk into a Catholic in Recovery meeting and find yourself offended,” Jon said. “It’s genuine and gentle and doesn’t knock you upside the head with recovery. The people and the program are genuine.”