Ep. 180 – The Importance of Staying Connected and How Giving Back has Kept Him Sober with Eric Sheets

“Alcoholics Anonymous didn’t just save my life, it taught me how to live a life worthy of having been spared and changed me from the inside out.” -Eric Sheets

Today, Ben and I are chatting to Eric Sheets, who is sharing his story of recovery and how he has taken his experience to give back and help other addicts become sober again.

Eric’s Background with Drugs and Alcohol

Eric says he came to the 12 Step Program a “broken man” and admits that this is the first time he has been honest with himself. “I could see that fear has governed my life as long as I can remember.”

He did have a stretch of sobriety between 2003 and 2010 when his wife fell ill with a rare lung disease and was terminally ill. “In that time I found God and my understanding of him” because, for the first time in his life, he understood his purpose. Although he realized that God put his wife into his life, he still didn’t believe that he was an addict and didn’t understand what this lifestyle entails.

The Second Phase of Drinking for Eric

After his wife passed away, Eric didn’t drink for several weeks until he was invited to a dinner party where a woman gave him a glass of wine after convincing Eric that he wasn’t an alcoholic. He remembers that moment like it was yesterday and picked up his addiction at the moment he left off.

At the moment he realized he couldn’t move on anymore, he walked into a hospital and told the emergency staff he was going to commit suicide; and he was baker-acted and introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous.

Living a Life of Purpose

“Living a life of purpose makes me happy,” Eric comments. He found that when he has a purpose, he can live sober and help others live sober. “Living in communion with my creator is how I found my purpose and what greater purpose can there be?”

Listen in and find out how Eric came to find his purpose, what happened when he stopped being of service, how fear and selfishness crept into his life, and how he rebuilt his relationship with his son.

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Show Notes:

  • [05:01] History and background on Eric’s early history.
  • [10:58] The days and weeks following his wife’s death.
  • [12:45] Picking up his first glass of wine after being sober for seven years.
  • [14:54] Eric’s rapid progression through alcoholism.
  • [17:05] When Eric started working the 12 steps, he started to care about other people.
  • [18:56] How Eric found purpose in his life and how his purpose motivated him to stay sober.
  • [20:53] The importance of addressing the little issues that trip up addicts.
  • [23:30] How Eric patched his relationship with his son.
  • [34:11] Eric found his new wife after his addiction.
  • [40:23] Putting a “why” between his alcohol and his addiction.
  • [43:34] The importance of having faith when you’re a recovering addict.
  • [53:13] His spiritual experience when going through the fifth step.

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