Recovery Blog Post–Brian McManus

It was 4:30 a.m. on a cold January morning, I crept down the stairs of my 1927 center hall colonial praying that the creaky old house wouldn’t give away my departure. I could see the lights of the car that had just pulled up in front of the house, waiting for me. It was a scene that probably wasn’t unfamiliar to the many working parents across Fairfield County, but I wasn’t carrying a briefcase or an overnight bag and I wasn’t going on a business trip. The car wasn’t there to take me to LaGuardia for an early flight. It was my 12-step sponsor, and I was leaving to begin my sentence at the Federal Prison Camp in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

My house betrayed me that morning and the creaking stairs woke up the oldest of my three daughters, Kate. I had said my goodbyes to my wife Kerry and daughters (Kate, Maeve and Claire) the night before. I was hoping to skulk away but Kate came running with tears in her eyes. As I hugged her, I thought to myself how did I get here and I never want to have to do this again.

For all intents and purposes, I had been living what other people saw as the “American Dream”. The son of working-class Irish immigrants that became a successful attorney with a wonderful family living in Fairfield County. I had been active at the kids’ school, in my church and I was on the Board of Trustees of the Fairfield Public Library. The outside looked good, but on the inside, I was a train wreck waiting to be exposed. I was a person struggling with a severe addiction to alcohol. My Alcohol Use Disorder led me down a very dark path, where I made terrible decisions in both my personal and professional life. I had stolen a substantial amount of money from my clients in order to prevent that train wreck from being exposed.

The pain from all the lies and my addiction became too much and I had to find a way out. Thankfully, I found recovery in the rooms of a 12-step fellowship and as part of my recovery journey, I turned myself in to the authorities and took ownership of the crimes that I had committed. I pled guilty in the Federal District Court in New Haven to bank fraud charges and was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison. Despite all of my legal woes, for the first time in a long time, I had hope for my future and my family’s future because of my recovery.

Today, 12 years after finding recovery and 11 years after that cold January morning, I honestly do live an “American Dream Reborn”. In addition to being an active part of my family, I have found my purpose in serving others and helping people find their own pathway to recovery and the miracles that can along with recovery. I discovered true contentment in helping others. I found a vocation with an organization that believes in putting a face on recovery and ending the stigma related to addiction and recovery. I currently serve as the program manager for the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery’s Department of Correction and Jail Diversion Recovery Coaching Programs. It’s an honor to be a part of the Recovery Community. By the way, I still live with my wife and daughters in that creaky old colonial. #RecoveryIsPossible #HappinessInRecovery NOTE: I’m here to help. Feel free to contact me at (860)372-1548.