Addiction: The Man Who Beat the Odds

Addiction is a topic not a lot of people like to talk about, but many of us know someone who struggle or have been touched by it personally. I have worked in the addiction field for a few years now and know this is not a battle easily won.

If you look at the numbers that are based on government data, you will find that while almost 10 percent of adults have some sort of addiction problem, only about 13% will ever seek help for it.  That right there is a scary statistic in its own right.  Most who need help do not ever seek it.

If you really want a rough estimate that sort of gives a decent answer to the question, you can always say “about 5% stay sober.”  This is not far from the truth.  In all actuality, you can see a sort of drop off rate as people try to stay sober for longer and longer.  In other words, if 100 people try to get sober, about 5% of them will make it to 90 days sober.

I would like to introduce you to a man who beat the odds.

Rick Schietart

I have know Rick for about 5 years now. He is an awesome guy. I love how he shares his recovery with others. I love how his greatest joy now is helping others achieve the same success he has achieved. Facebook has become a place where he shares his mission, his inspirations and his joys in helping others. Rick  just recently celebrated his 10th Anniversary in sobriety. This is SUCH an accomplishment. I have worked with hundreds of addicts in my career and I must say, not many reach this milestone. I am so incredibly proud of him. Not only is he sober, but he has done it the “right” way. By this I mean he has been God led. A lot of addicts I work with do not want to hear this, but I have yet to see anyone remain sober without God. Beating alcoholism is the hardest job a person will ever undertake. So please, be inspired by this story. I know addiction has touched so many people. Be inspired by Rick and know – recovery is possible.



My name is Rick S. and I am a recovering alcoholic. That statement alone took me 20 years to accept, yet that statement sets me free every time. It also took an extreme amount of pain for me to push my pride aside and do something about it. I am a 3rd generation alcoholic and a twelve step supporter. Just recently I celebrated my 10 years completely clean and sober and on my anniversary date a lot of my past comes flooding in, reminding how bad things can really get. You see I never was a bad person, but alcoholism is cunning, baffling, and powerful. It transformed me from a loving child to an emotionally vacant, useless human being who was an empty pit of want. I was a fortunate person, I always had my needs met by a loving family, yet that hole in my soul seemed to get bigger every year, and my wants became endless. I became robotic in my daily routine, work , drink, buy something, repeat……..In that selfish journey you can imagine the love ones in your life will try and help or request you stop, but I would not and never truly understood the POWER of my addiction. You see I had a love affair with the bottle only alcoholics can understand. It is all consuming, removing all good from ones life and making you believe the world would be better without you.

My last 6 months of using I was left in a 300,000 dollar home I thought I needed, surrounded by more material items then anyone possibly could use , wife  and family finally having enough of the mental and emotional torture I was putting them through, and I was left alone with my thoughts and 20 years of alcohol induced decisions. By me for months rarely eating, in and out of alcoholic delusions, locked in the darkest depressing room I could find, with a pistol………..They say the night is always darkest right before the dawn, and for me for some reason, it had to get that dark for me to experience the light. I had a complete spiritual experience, that is very hard for me to put into words, but let’s just say my path became focused, and my higher power embraced me and let me know I had a PURPOSE TO FULFILL and I was loved.

So at 36 I started everything new. There was no more home, career, wife or things, but now I looked at it different. Nothing to hold me back, only time to get me back better than ever, not for the sake of financial or material gain, but a new direction, spiritual fulfillment, because that had been lacking forever, and without it, PEACE can never be found. I must say a lot of fear was there, and still can be at times, but the exact opposite of that is FAITH, with that I can move mountains.  So I went to treatment, followed directions, became teachable. Something I never was because you must be humble to be teachable. But I had to do it, so I tried. I completed treatment, followed my therapists recommendations and lived in a 3/4 house after treatment in which daily life is based on recovery first everything else second. What a breath of fresh air, 16 guys of various ages just trying to stay clean and sober. I really needed that to learn how to live life again, because it’s not just about the using, but the behaviors that surrounded it, that if not addressed will bring me back to the substance. I ended up staying 9 months in that step down environment and learned a lot along the way. I shared a lot of wonderful moments there with my brothers of sobriety, and unfortunately some died. Yet for me, I really had a mission and wanted to live.  Many miracles happened along the way. My ex-wife was very happy I was trying to get sober and she signed off on our previous home, which allowed me to buy a fixer upper in my recovery community and also allowed me to finally give a gift from the heart and send her to school. I began to understand that our loved ones suffer more than I did; she had to watch me die a little bit more each day. So I made amends verbally and gave her that gift.  We never became remarried. I learned that love is not to wanna hold on so much as it is to let go. So I let her go with a kiss and a prayer that she would find happiness, and I continued to heal.

Today, as I stated before, I have 10 years clean. I now work at the same rehabilitation facility that I was a patient at, and I see miracles there every day. I make 1/4 of the income I use to make, but my heart is full and I want for nothing. I try and have only positive interactions with people in my daily life and really examine my motives so I no longer will reach out with less than good intentions. I figured out it’s not all about me, and I have a daily relationship with my higher power. So in 10 short years my life has come full circle, from light to complete darkness, to illumination better and brighter than ever. Life on life’s terms. GRATEFUL JUST TO BE and to be a part of the healing……..

Yours In Sobriety.  ( Rick S.)




  1. Constance Rose says:

    So proud to know Rick, he leaves an indelible mark on those who get the opportunity to know him.