I’m Vance Mulholland and I have been a person in long-term recovery since July 2011. This is not my first, second, or third attempt at recovery. I could not get past resentments I had from my childhood. I let people rent way to much space in my head. It’s as if my mind’s sublets had sublets. I have an amazing wife and family that care about me and love me. I have a home (not always something I could say), and even that was not enough to make me embrace recovery. My life kept getting smaller and smaller. I only felt pain, fear and despair and to numb those feelings I turned to alcohol. I felt as if I was going to explode, and the fear was paralyzing. Something had to change this lifestyle was not sustainable.
Cue my protective angels (I imagine surfers that ride motorcycles). Two men in recovery ran into me (one literally running, the other at work) the week leading up to my recovery date. They asked me how I was doing, and meant it. A few days later I called one of those men and asked him if he would take me to mutual aid group that he attends. He was more than happy to pick me up and to be of service. Since that day, my life has changed so much that as I think about it now it’s unbelievable. I gained tools that would help me stay in recovery and to be able to be of service to others. The first tool was my phone. I enjoy attending meetings, but they are not always available (cue the 2020 pandemic), but the phone is always on. I learned how to forgive people that I had resentments towards and to forgive myself. I ask people how they are feeling and mean it. I have many opportunities to be of service to the recovery community and the community I live in as a whole. The privilege of helping men in recovery and watch the transformation of their lives is one of the most amazing experiences I have been a part of.
My new career has directly and indirectly enabled to help those with substance use disorders, as well as help their families, friends and neighbors. The relationships I have with my wife, family and friends are honest, authentic and filled with love. Their capacity for love and forgiveness towards me showed me the way to forgive and care about others. I am a trusted member of my community and look forward every day to be of service. This has not been an easy journey, but neither was the first time I committed to learning anything new in life. The life I live and the gifts I have received are incalculable, all stemming from staying on my pathway of recovery.
I am always available for a cup of coffee (or Diet Coke) and a conversation.