SPOKANE, Wash. - Darren Sowers has asked himself the same questions off and on since he was in his twenties.
"I have a choice today. Do I want to stay sober and live? Do I want to stay sober, be miserable and die? Or do i just want to get drunk?" Sowers said.
He found direction in the Army National Guard. But, when he came home, he hit the bottle again.
After being arrested for driving under the influence, he tried to call it quits. His life got better for about six years. He got married, had two daughters, owned a home and had a steady job.
Then, his mom died unexpectedly.
"She passed away and I picked up my first drink at her funeral, which was the 11th of October, 1996," Sowers said.
He tried to drown his sorrows and lost everything.
"My last drink was a suicide attempt. I self admitted myself into the hospital. I thought my life was over. My alcoholism had beaten me, defeated me, and I would be better off dead," Sowers said.
That rock bottom became the foundation for his sobriety. He got help, fell in love again and had a baby girl. Now he's working on being a good dad to all three of his daughters.
"I've been able to watch both my older daughters graduate. I've walked my oldest daughter down the aisle. I didn't think that any of this was possible," Sowers said.
Part of his success in recovery comes from the community he found at the Recovery Cafe in the Peaceful Valley.
"Walking into the cafe, you're greeted with a lot of love and compassion and understanding. I've never been anywhere like that before in my life," Sowers said.
Now, he's helping others stay sober, too. He volunteers at the cafe and is a recovery coach trainer.
"I've struggled with things in recovery, but I haven't had to use because I have people in my life that have walked through this before me. And they teach me how to walk through it with them, not alone, so i can help the next person that comes along that is struggling with life," Sowers said.
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