Sobriety First

It took getting arrested in 2001 for me to turn my life around. To be more accurate, it took getting arrested and watching my “world” disintegrate to lead me into the rooms of a 12-step program and turn my life around. While the arrest itself was horrible and the case was thrown out of court 19 days later and the motivation behind the charges was likely designed to shut my advocate mouth up, none of it would have happened had I not been drinking, and so, I am responsible.

Just a day or so after the case had been thrown out of court I was talking to a NYC Firefighter who had 25 years of sobriety under his belt. “They set me up,” I whined. “They had this fox nurse buddy up to me and we went out drinking a few times and next thing I know, I’m getting accused of all this shit. It’s bullshit.”  I was actually telling the truth, but only because they truth happened to work for me, or so I was foolish enough to think.

He looked at me, nodded, smiled, and said, “Okay. Let’s say I believe you. But whether they set you up or not is not the point. There’s always people like that in the world. I have one question for you and one question only. It’s a yes or no answer. Was there anything about Peter Kahrmann that contributed to the environment that allowed it to happen? Yes or no.”

Yes,” I said.

“Good. That’s what you need to focus on. Not all the bullshit that’s around you, but you, take responsibility for you. Get sober.”

I will be sober eight years this July 12.  I wouldn’t trade my sobriety in for anything else.

Believe me, if I wasn’t sober, I never would have written this.


One thought on “Sobriety First

  1. I have suffered throughout my life with the affliction of addiction. In the 1990’s I spent a year in a therapeutic community called Daytop village. This was a difficult year and I felt like giving up many times. I was able to eventually make it through and was a better stronger person. For the first time in my life I was able to tell people no and was no longer a follower. After barely making it through high school I applied to college after completing my treatment at Daytop Village. While in college I did exceptionally well and was able to take classes that involved interclass participation (public speaking, interpersonal communication, etc). I eventually graduated from both community college and a local four year school. While attending college I worked a full time job delivering furniture and appliances. It was at this job that I got hurt and had to start taking addictive pain medication. I took this medication because I was in such extreme pain and I continued to do so over the next ten years. There came a time when I no longer wanted to take the medication but I couldn’t stop. I still had pain and I was now both physically and mentally addicted to opiates. I had tried in the pasted to stop taking the pills but it was so painful to stop. The withdrawals I would go through after not taking the pills even after a few hours after a missed dose was unrelenting. After going through this unforgiving cycle countless times I eventually turned myself over to St. Peters detox. While at St. Peters they gave me a new pill call suboxone. This medication has allowed to me to regain the control of my body that I have so desperately wanted along with the help from my wife who has 16 years of sobriety. I have learned to live with the physical pain because it is much more manageable then the pain due to my addiction. When I read your article Peter it just made me think of what I have gone through. I have been clean since March of 2006. –Ran out of Belvedere-


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