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College Student Finds Radical Freedom

Names and places have obviously been changed to protect anonymity, but the story is true, and the results are real.

I met Carl about a year ago. He got my number from someone who gives out my number to men looking for sponsorship. Apparently, I left my number a long time ago and she continues to pass it out. Thank God.

So, Carl called because he was wanting to stop porn and masturbation. Then I learned that he also had trouble but not real trouble, as he put it, with alcohol and, oh yeah, some drugs and fake drugs.

I put his name on my phone as Carl 22 since that was his age and the best way for me to remember him. I was working with several young men at the time each being very new to recovery. I would get calls from Carl every so often. He’d be having trouble with his girlfriend, or he’d be getting ready for a road trip or sometimes he’d just call because he had attended a meeting and was looking to reach out to others in the program. I’d make suggestions and he’d make excuses or promises and I wouldn’t hear from him for a while.

I published the Radical Freedom website around July of 2021 after completing my first 30-day live-in rehab with a guy in Oklahoma and after my first extensive weekend with another guy in Corpus Christi. I think Carl may have visited my site and let me know that he would like to try doing an extensive weekend. He had just lost his girlfriend again and seemed a bit more serious. I was supposed to fly into a weeklong job near his college town and told him that I could not do an extensive weekend but that since he had a few days off before school started up, I would send him some material and we’d see how things went.

My job near his town was canceled and I spent a day flying there and back to Houston again without getting to meet up with him. Luckily, I landed a job working nights nearby and was able to meet with Carl every night for two weeks. To my great surprise, Carl was doing the work I’d sent. I was so surprised that I had to quickly read over the material to keep up with him.

I could see that Carl was serious this time and was shocked to see him being so honest with the work and with me. He was beginning to have spiritual awakenings. He was seeing, for the first time, his role in so many of his problems. He was taking responsibility for his situation in life. He was also piling up sober days in the meantime.

Looking back, it is difficult to recall all the many conversations we had during our two to four-hour-long zoom meetings. I could see his real sorrow for his behavior, and I was aware that he was spending lots more time in prayer and making much better use of his leisure time. Most importantly, he was staying sober.

Much time has passed since we began. He made 50 plus sober days and had a minor slip. He got right back up and into recovery. He has joined a local 12 step fellowship and began working with a new sponsor there as well. He has told parts of his story and is being of service to his fellowship. He has mended his relationship with his father and with one of his brothers. He has made amends to his girlfriend and is treating her with respect. They are taking time off of the relationship to do individual recovery but are at peace with one another. He has gone on several outings with other female friends and seems able to manage himself quite well.

His college career is looking great! He has had an interview with a very exciting employer. He speaks with confidence and kindness. He is no longer the young man I met a year ago full of fear, guilt, shame, despair, or confusion. He is well on his way to the best years of his life!

Who’s got next?

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